Posted: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 8:03 pm
Dear Annie: My wife and I have been married for 23 years. We recently separated due to our 18-year-old son’s anger management issues and my wife’s sick parents. She moved out nine months ago to take care of them.
Well, her parents died, and my son moved in with one of his friends. My wife’s brothers are doing everything they can to cut her out of the estate and throw my son in jail (he has a felony on his record). Now my wife wants me back, but quite frankly, I do not want her back. I have moved on with my life and don’t want the headaches that she and my son have brought me for the past three years.
My attorneys have advised me to divorce, and my wife says they should be disbarred. Any advice? — Mr. Soon-to-Be Ex
Dear Mr.: We realize your life has been difficult and unpleasant for three years, but still, you seem awfully eager to throw in the towel rather than explore what’s left now that the major headaches have been mostly resolved. This is an opportunity to see if you and your wife still love each other and could make a good life together. Emotional exhaustion can interfere with your decision. Please get some counseling, with or without your wife. Make sure you are not tossing away the future good with the lousy past. A 23-year marriage deserves that much.
Dear Annie: Two years ago, my family moved to the east coast. I am active in the community — volunteering at my children’s elementary school and our church — and I also have a part-time job. My kids have made many friends and are doing well. The problem is their parents.
Both my husband’s family and mine live in the Midwest, so making connections with people here is very important to us. We have had a couple of parties at our house in an effort to get to know people in our neighborhood. But no one ever invites us to their house or their parties. I meet lots of great people through my job, but only on a professional level. I’ve met parents through my kids’ school and sports, but no real friendships have developed.
We recently joined a social group (I’m volunteering to help run it), and that has helped somewhat. But so far, only one family in our neighborhood has made any effort to get to know us better. The only parties I am invited to are the ones where I’m expected to buy something.
I like to think we are fun to be around since we have a lot of friends back home. Am I expecting too much, too soon? — Sad in the Suburbs
Dear Sad: We commend your efforts, but making new friends can be hard these days. Pick one couple in your neighborhood and invite them over. Do the same with a couple at school, church and perhaps one from work. See what you have in common, and try to build on that. You also could join a local club, choir, political organization, book club, community theater, art or photography group and see if that garners you some friends with shared interests. Several of our readers have suggested meetup.com, and you might give that a try as well. Good luck.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Sick of the Shrew,” whose bitter sister-in-law, “Elaine,” spreads lies within the family. She and I could compare relatives all day.
After a particularly troubling visit with one relative, my husband found “narcissistic personality disorder” on the Internet. The best suggestion was to limit the time spent with the poisonous person. That seems obvious, but it was a revelation to us.
My husband is still involved with this relative as needed, but the information we gained and the decreased exposure has really improved our family life. — Hope This Helps
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email 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 10.11.11