Dear Annie: I recently spoke to my 80-year-old dad about taking him to his home state to attend an upcoming event. I thought it might be nice to see other family members, too. I planned to contact relatives and reserve a pavilion at a nearby park for other group activities.
I mentioned the idea to my sister, so she could save the date. I did not ask for her input or help. But the next thing I knew, she had contacted the relatives, booked a block of hotel rooms, and is making plans for this mini-family reunion. This irritates me to no end. After all, this was my idea. I told her I was annoyed by her takeover of the event. Now, she is not speaking to me.
Was I wrong to want to make the plans without her interference? — Big Sister
Dear Big Sister: We assume this type of sibling rivalry has gone on since the two of you were kids. You want credit for coming up with the idea and planning it according to your preferences, and your sister hijacked the idea and is now getting the kudos for arranging it. We understand your irritation, but it won't do you any good. So try instead to work on a way to make this a joint project.
Call your sister and say you are sorry you didn't include her in the planning to begin with. (Seriously, it won't kill you.) Ask how you can assist with her ideas, and then tell her the things you were considering and enlist her help. We know such an approach will take a great deal of patience and tolerance from you, but this is absolutely not worth the current fight. If you need the relatives to appreciate your efforts, you can clarify that in person at the mini-reunion.
Dear Annie: OMG, "Living in the '70s" sounds so much like me! He said he found out that his wife had slept with a rival 40 years ago, before they married, and since then, he can't let it go.
My wife and I have been married for 43 years. When we were engaged, a guy that I didn't much care for gave her all kinds of attention. She put our relationship on hold twice, but he seemed out of our lives after we married.
Sixteen years later, my wife was hospitalized, and guess who showed up to visit? The hammer really hit my head five years ago. We were finishing the last sips of a glass of wine when she tells me that she had an affair with this guy after her hospital stay. It blew me away.
You recommended counseling to "Living." I tried that, but three different counselors later, I still cannot let it go. Like "Living," my wife has been a wonderful friend, partner, mom and grandmother, and she does not deserve my occasional angry outbursts over something so old. How do I put this out of my mind? — Comments Please
Dear Comments: Trust is such a fragile thing. No one expects you to forget about this affair. The best you can do is control your response so there are fewer "angry outbursts." If you are willing to try counseling again, please ask the counselor to work specifically on that.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2015. 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.