Dear Annie: My parents own a good amount of land in their native country. When I was growing up, they paid for my tuition but were not very supportive emotionally. I sponsored them to come to the U.S., and because they didn't speak English (and still don't), I helped them find jobs.
The problem is, my parents are giving everything they own and whatever they made during their lifetimes to my brothers as an inheritance. They are leaving nothing to me. I've decided to encourage them to move back home and live with their sons. Why should I be handling their bills, buying their groceries, picking up their prescriptions, taking them to the doctor and acting as their interpreter?
I've paid back every penny they spent on me, including my tuition. I'm angry that I am obligated to take care of them when they are leaving everything to my brothers. Please help. — Foolish Daughter in the Midwest
Dear Daughter: We assume your parents come from a culture that values sons more than daughters, and that daughters are expected to care for the parents while sons inherit property. While this is hardly fair, you cannot expect your parents to overcome their own cultural upbringing so easily. You need to think of this differently: Your parents do not owe you an inheritance. They raised you and helped you get into college by loaning you tuition. Anything you do now is out of gratitude, love, compassion or obligation. And your brothers should welcome the opportunity to do the same.
Dear Annie: I am a cross-dresser and like your good advice to "No Life Without Wife." I married in the early '80s and did not tell my wife about my cross-dressing. Nine years later, I wanted her to be part of my complete life. I told her by leaving women's clothing in the closet and telling her they were mine. She said she needed time to think about it. Nine months later, she still wouldn't talk about it or see a therapist and said I needed professional help. That led to a divorce.
In time, I realized that if I wanted to enjoy my cross-dressing and be able to share my pleasure with someone, I have to tell that person early on.
When I told my current wife about my cross-dressing, she asked whether I was gay. I told her no. She asked a lot of other questions and I answered them as truthfully as I could. She was willing to compromise, and now the two of us enjoy both of my worlds.
I would strongly advise "No Life" to tell his wife in person, privately and as soon as possible. Turn off all phones, and let her know you have something important to say. Stay calm, and let her absorb the news at her own pace. He also should have the name of a therapist ready in case he or his wife wish to speak to a professional. — Glad I Did
Dear Glad: It is important not to keep such important parts of your life hidden from your spouse. Aside from the surprise, it also feels like a betrayal not to have known. Thank you for your testimonial.
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.