Dear Annie: My husband's parents live on the farm where he grew up, which is about an hour away from my folks' house. When we go home to visit, I prefer to stay with my parents.
I have no problem visiting the farm and spending time with my husband's family, but the accommodations at my parents' house are more comfortable. We have an entire section of the house to ourselves, including a private bathroom. At my in-laws', the entire family shares a bathroom. Also, my mother-in-law has OCD and insists we shower every time we enter the house, and anything in our possession (phone, watch, wallet) must be wiped off. The last time we visited, my husband had to tell his mother three times not to wipe off my dry-clean-only outfit with her wet dishrag. In addition, all of our belongings end up smelling like manure.
I think the family is only enabling my mother-in-law's issues by accommodating all of her odd requests. I've tried to tell my husband how uncomfortable this makes me, and that I'd rather spend the night at my parents' home and split the daylight hours between the two houses. But he says it's not fair, it hurts his feelings and we should spend nights at the farm, too. What is your take on the situation? — Sick of the Farm
Dear Sick: We can certainly understand your discomfort, but you also must consider your husband's preferences. If you visit only once or twice a year, we say suck it up and stay there half the time and wear clothes you don't mind wiping with a wet dishrag. His mother's issues are not really your business unless you live with her. But also discuss this calmly with your husband and ask if you can spend more daylight hours at the farm to make up for fewer sleepovers. Find other things to like and admire about his family so this doesn't turn into a power play. He needs to know that you don't consider his folks inferior to yours.
Dear Annie: I love my wife, but find us drifting apart. She must control every aspect of our day-to-day lives. She has a fuse that is extremely short and spends a lot of time being angry.
Why would anyone want to share time or romance with a person who is always mad? Then, when I don't want to be with her, she gets angry that we don't spend quality time together. Also, I don't want to make love much anymore.
We have seen counselors, but they have not been helpful. How do we end this death spiral that will surely end in divorce? — Sad in Buffalo
Dear Sad: Ask your wife to see her doctor and be checked for any type of hormonal or endocrine imbalance. She also should be evaluated for depression. Sometimes, underlying medical conditions can create or exacerbate personality issues. Please check it out before giving up.
Dear Annie: This is for "Hanging Loose in Calif.," who worried about where he and his wife would be buried.
There are more than 100 national cemeteries across the country. As long as the couple is still married at the time of death, and pending the veteran's eligibility, his spouse is entitled to be buried at a national cemetery at no cost. The Veterans Administration provides the following burial benefits: opening and closing of the gravesite; a grave liner for casket burials; a headstone or niche cover for cremated remains to be interred above ground; perpetual care.
The process of determining a veteran's eligibility is occasionally complicated. Those interested can contact their local national cemetery or Veterans Affairs office. The National Cemetery Administration also has an informative website at www.cem.va.gov. — NCA Customer Service Rep
Dear Rep: Thank you for your excellent information. Many readers let us know that veterans' spouses can be buried at national cemeteries. We thank all who wrote.
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2012. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.