Posted: Thursday, April 8, 2010 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I’ve been divorced for five years. Immediately after the papers were signed, I met “Matthew.” We dated for a few months. The chemistry was perfect, but then he shocked me with an e-mail saying he didn’t have feelings for me.
Annie, this was two years ago, and I’m still depressed. I’m sure Matthew has no idea it still bothers me that we got along so well and now we don’t see each other anymore. However, we still e-mail once every few months or so, just to catch up.
I can’t seem to move on. What would make my life meaningful is a relationship with a guy just like him. But there is no one else in the world like him. The past two years have been like death. I wake up every morning thinking about how he doesn’t love me, and I go to bed every night knowing he’ll never be there for me. Can you give me any advice? — Just Me Alone in Texas
Dear Texas: You have given Matthew a tremendous amount of control over your life. There’s no way to know whether he was Mr. Right, but you have romanticized him into perfection and created an object of obsession. You have convinced yourself to pine away for someone who isn’t interested in you. Two years of being stuck in this rut means you will need professional help to get out. Ask your doctor to refer you to a therapist. And stop e-mailing Matthew. It’s only pouring salt on your wounds. You need to make a clean break.
Dear Annie: I am a 58-year-old woman, married to “Herb,” age 73 and retired. The last time I spoke with my younger sister (divorced and living with our mother), she said, “As long as you live with Herb, I am going to divorce you from the family.” She feels Herb is demeaning and controlling.
I’m disabled. Prior to my medical condition, I had a successful career. When I was on life support last summer, my family tried to take over the decisions of my care and ignored my husband. Apparently, it’s their way or the highway. What should I do? — Confused
Dear Confused: It seems that everyone in your family is trying to control you. What about you? Don’t let your sister or anyone else dictate your life. If you are happy with Herb, stay with him. Try to keep in touch with your sister and mother, but if they refuse to speak to you, so be it.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Worried Friend,” who expressed concern that a single male has been acting as a surrogate father to a neighbor’s daughter. Now that the girl is 13, he thinks this adult male may have a sexual interest in her. He goes on to say, “It is highly abnormal for a single adult male to develop a close relationship with a young girl.” Oh, really?
Your reply seemed to bolster this ridiculous notion by saying he could be a sexual abuser. As an adult male, I find this highly offensive. It seems men are assumed to be sexual predators until proven otherwise, and even then, we are apparently prone to abuse if the right situation arises. There are plenty of adult women, i.e., middle-aged junior-high teachers, who will have sex with underage boys. You need to stop perpetuating this highly biased and offensive stereotype.
Let’s see whether you have the fairness to print this. — E.W.
Dear E.W.: My, my, you seem a bit sensitive on the subject. We are not condemning men in general, or even in particular. We said this situation bears watching because the male neighbor has no adult relationships and seems especially interested in the girl’s developing body. It would be irresponsible of us not to acknowledge that those factors indicate a possible problem. You are entitled to disagree, but we’re sticking with our original advice.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. 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.
Published in The Messenger 4.8.10