Posted: Thursday, September 2, 2010 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I’ve been married for 18 years and have two wonderful children. I love my husband, but there are some behaviors I simply don’t understand.
“Andy” works long hours, while I am home alone with our two children. He rarely calls to check in, and I never know when he will be home. There have been a few occasions when I discovered the next morning that he stayed at a friend’s hunting camp all night. He doesn’t feel it’s a big deal if he doesn’t call.
The other problem is when he returns home and I can tell that he has been drinking — which means he was driving under the influence. I do not understand how he can put so many people at risk.
When Andy doesn’t call, I consider it disrespectful. I have tried talking to him, screaming, nagging and the silent treatment, but nothing makes a dent. He is a good provider and loves us, but I feel alone in this marriage. I am certainly losing respect for him. So, Annie, do I — Stay or Go?
Dear S or G: Andy is avoiding his responsibilities as a husband and father. A caring, mature, responsible spouse would call to let you know if he’s coming home late and certainly if he planned to be away overnight. Tell Andy his behavior is not acceptable and either he cleans up his act or you’ll be seeing a marriage counselor and a lawyer.
Dear Annie: I have been dating “Maurice” for more than a year. He has two grandsons, ages 10 and 5, who have behavioral problems.
Last summer, we took them on an all-day fishing trip, and the older boy wouldn’t stop playing with his grandfather’s fishing pole and finally broke it. During a Christmas visit, the younger boy was batting at my ornaments, and his mother did nothing.
We thought we would take the boys one at a time, but his parents say we can only take the younger boy alone. If we want to take the older boy, we have to take both of them. They say the younger boy wouldn’t understand being left behind. We didn’t feel comfortable taking both boys on the canoe trip we were planning, so we took neither. Of course, the older boy was disappointed.
Maurice has neck and knee problems, and these children totally wear him out. But his son and daughter-in-law make him feel guilty if he does not spend time with them. What do we do? — Trying Hard
Dear Trying: It’s a shame those parents don’t realize the strain they put on Grandpa (and the disservice they do their boys) by insisting he take both children. Since Maurice wants to spend time with the grandchildren, suggest he do simpler things closer to home. Perhaps take them for ice cream and a movie. Or teach them about his favorite hobby — building birdhouses, painting, baseball, whatever. It’s not the activity but the time spent together that counts.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “C.C.,” who has a sex offender working in her building. I own a property management business and certainly would find it inappropriate to hire someone with a sexual offense record.
I tell people who are looking for a rental property that if they have to register for Megan’s law, I will not rent to them. The other people in the building outweigh a sexual offender’s rights. If I were the owner or property manager of that building, I would want the tenant to share their concerns with me. — Peg
Dear Peg: Many readers feel as you do. Before casting stones, understand that not all sexual offenders are a danger to others. (Perhaps he was 18 and had sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend.) But his creepy behavior certainly merits looking into.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, 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 9.2.10