Editor's Note: Hundreds of Ann Landers' loyal readers have requested that newspapers continue to publish her columns. These letters originally appeared in 1999.
Dear Ann Landers: I recently married "Jim," a man 20 years my senior. It was a second marriage for both of us. Jim's first marriage lasted 22 years, and there were no children. Since his divorce (which was before I met him), Jim and his ex-wife have maintained a very close relationship. Last week, Jim lost a dear friend, whom I knew briefly. I comforted him as best I could, and he was most appreciative. He said there would be no memorial service and that his friend would be cremated.
While listening to our answering machine, I heard a day-old message giving details of the funeral service. I asked Jim about the message, and he admitted there would be a service but said he hadn't invited me to attend with him because his ex-wife planned to go. He said if she saw us there together, it would upset her.
I am not the type of person to inflict pain on anyone, so I told Jim to go to the funeral without me. Jim and his ex-wife attended the service, which was followed by a reception. I feel pain in my heart that he did not ask me to go with him and feels no remorse about the incident. What do you make of this? — Bewildered in Texas
Dear Texas: I think Jim may still be emotionally attached to his ex-wife, and apparently, she has some feelings for him. Don't make an issue of this. Be warm and comforting. Remember, if a man is fed well at home, he will not be inclined to go to restaurants.
Dear Ann Landers: This is in response to "Greensboro, N.C.," whose 17-year-old son left home after refusing to get a job or go to school. Those parents should check with a legal expert to find out if they are responsible for the boy's expenses.
I have friends who were presented with huge bills run up by their minor child who no longer lived at home. These parents found themselves responsible for trashed living quarters, wrecked cars and expensive clothing — and they didn't even know where the kid was living.
Parents in this position need to be assured of legal protection no matter how much they love the child or hope he will come home. If their minor child has moved out, they should see a lawyer before things get more complicated. They could be liable for a bundle. — Been Down That Road in Holland, Mich.
Dear Holland: Excellent advice to those parents. I hope they see this and pay attention. I also hope the boy you wrote about agrees to move back home and get some counseling before he ends up in serious trouble.
Looking for an uplifting, quick read? "A Collection of My Favorite Gems of the Day" contains handpicked jokes and witticisms from the world over. To find out more about Ann Landers and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Photo credit: joaph at Pixabay