Dear Annie: A year ago, I fell in love with "Bobby" over the Internet. Two months later, he said he loved me. I was stunned. But a little later, he told me he was in a relationship and the girl was suicidal. He was afraid that if he broke it off, she'd kill herself. I've had suicidal thoughts myself and understood.
Bobby sent me wonderful messages that made me feel terrific. I was happier than ever, even though he was terribly depressed about his situation. We made a promise that as long as we had each other, we wouldn't kill ourselves. After a while, I lost all desire to hurt myself. He gave me a reason to live.
But, Annie, sometimes Bobby acts like a player. He flirts with other women. When I get upset, he always apologizes. I checked his online profile and saw messages to and from his current girlfriend. In one, he told her he "wasn't ready to let go of her and was sorry they broke up." He never told me they weren't together anymore.
I posted a message, too, giving him a piece of my mind. But since he's been suicidal, I worry about him and frequently check to make sure he's been online and is OK. Whenever people say something mean about him, I always defend him.
The truth is, I still love him, but I'm afraid to talk to him again. Do you think there's any hope for the two of us, or is this just another book in my life that I have to close? — Desperate for Answers In Michigan
Dear Michigan: Close the book and throw it away. Bobby is not honest, and any relationship with him would eventually involve misery for you. We think you know this. We're glad you no longer have suicidal thoughts, but if they should return, please get some counseling and talk to someone who can truly help you. You should never rely on another person for your happiness.
Dear Annie: My two siblings and I are planning a family vacation that will include renting a house. They each have kids who still live at home and will be coming along. One sibling is spending a lot of money just to travel to us.
My husband absolutely refuses to pay for one-third the cost of the house, since we only require one bedroom and they require more. But if we divide it by the number of bedrooms, one family will end up paying almost half of the cost of the entire place. And if we divide it by the number of people, the family already paying the most to travel here will be paying the most for the house, as well. And that sibling has always been very generous with me.
I am upset with my husband, and now my siblings are upset with me. What is fair? — No Good Solution for this Arithmetic Problem
Dear Solution: Your husband's position is not unreasonable. The more people who use the premises the more it costs to run the place and supply the food. Unless those who spend less money to get there want to subsidize the others, it would be fair to discuss this with everyone and work out a solution together.
Dear Annie: This is in response to "Mom in Connecticut," who asked about emailing thank-you notes.
Few children would be eager to handwrite a thank-you note, but I have the solution. When my children were young, they were not permitted to enjoy the gift (spend the money, watch the DVD, play with the toy, etc.) until a handwritten thank-you was ready to be mailed. Now I don't have to remind them, as they know it is expected of them. — Mom in Pennsylvania
Dear Mom: We wish more parents were as conscientious as you. It would help with a lot of problems — not only thank-you notes.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.