Dear Annie: My 21-year-old granddaughter recently confided that she doesn't attract men and doesn't know why. It bothers her a great deal. She knows it's not her looks. She is good looking. She has had some self-esteem issues due to dyslexia and received counseling.
"Kelly" had one relationship that she ended recently due to his verbal abuse. He told her he "hated her drama." Kelly is a nice person and has many female friends. But she has a strong voice and tends to come across as loud and dramatic, especially in a group of people. Sometimes she talks excessively. Kelly is aware that she is loud and says she can't help it. My grandson, Kelly's cousin, told me this is why men are turned off by her. He says he has difficulty tolerating this behavior.
We love Kelly and have always accepted this as part of her personality even though it can be annoying. Should I talk to her about this or simply hope that she finds someone who accepts her as she is? Can she change this aspect of her personality? — Worried Grandma
Dear Grandma: Yes, aspects of one's personality can be modified with willingness and effort, but this is less about personality than behavior, and that certainly can be changed. Please tell Kelly so she can work on it. Suggest she learn to modulate her voice so it is less strident and find ways to listen more and speak less so she doesn't monopolize conversations. This is good advice whether it attracts men or not. Her behavior shouldn't be so abrasive that it prevents people from getting to know her.
Dear Annie: I'm a new wife who can relate to those husbands who feel rejected by their wives. Before we were married, my husband wanted me all the time. No sooner did we say "I do" than he cooled considerably.
This leaves me sad and disappointed. I feel cheated. I've brought up the subject quite a few times only to be "shushed." It makes me think he stayed with me for his pride or status, but not because he truly loves me.
I'm much younger than my husband, and he has admitted that he worries men will make passes at me, yet he does not cover that worry by making me feel loved and wanted. I truly don't get it.
I feel sorry for those men whose wives reject them. It is damaging to one's self-esteem and to the relationship. I hope and pray something changes. I think it's a person's job to make his or her spouse feel desired and loved. — A.L.
Dear A.L.: We agree. Unfortunately, people generally present their "best selves" when courting, and in some instances, the real person is far different. Hoping and praying for a change may not be enough when your husband refuses to discuss the matter. Please talk to a counselor. Ask your husband to come with you, but as always, if he won't, go without him. You need to find out what you are willing to tolerate and whether there is anything you can work on to make your relationship better.
Dear Annie: My husband and I laughed when we read the letter from "Also Tired of Bad Haircuts." My husband and I have groused about this, too. We laughed because we had found the obvious solution only the day before, when he was lucky enough to have received one of those oh-so-rare good cuts.
I grabbed his iPhone and immediately took close-up shots of the cut from several angles. Artistic photos they aren't, but by keeping them stored on his phone, he can show any stylist what he wants. We hope those pictures will be worth a million words. — Expecting a Better Haircut Now
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.