Annie’s Mailbox – 11.15.11
Posted: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 9:16 pm
By: By Kathy Mitchell & Marcy Sugar
The Messenger 11.15.11
Dear Annie: Here’s the story: My sister married into a wealthy family. Unfortunately, her husband died three weeks ago at the age of 63.
My grieving sister was visiting with her in-laws recently and was informed through casual conversation that they had prepared a new will so that their surviving two sons receive equal shares of the estate, and no provision had been made for my sister.
Now she feels as if 35 years of being a loyal, loving and dependable family member meant nothing to these people. Although I know they have no legal obligation to include their late son’s spouse in their will, don’t you think there is a moral obligation to see that she is provided for to some degree after being part of their family all this time? I’m sure if they had had children together, the kids would have inherited some of that money, but because they were childless, my sister gets nothing. Is this fair? — Just Wondering in the USA
Dear Wondering: We know you have your sister’s best interests at heart, but keep in mind that parents have no obligation, moral or otherwise, to leave their estate to any of their children or grandchildren. They could easily give it all to charity. Unfortunately, when one child receives less, for whatever reason, it gives the impression that the child is not loved as much as the others.
We suspect your sister’s in-laws are simply dividing the estate to ensure that it goes to future descendants, but your sister feels that her contributions and devotion are not valued. This is undoubtedly not true, and she might want to express those hurt feelings to them before the relationship is permanently damaged. We do hope they leave her some piece of jewelry or other personal memento, however, to show how much they love and appreciate her.
Dear Annie: My wife and I are a mature couple in our mid-50s. We were very passionate when we married 11 years ago, but time has taken the wind out of “Betty’s” sails. I don’t begrudge her the change of life. What bothers me is how overly sensitive she is to discussing the issue.
I’m not looking for an excuse to have a fling, and seeing a counselor is out of the question. I love Betty and want our lives together to be happy. Her doctor prescribed hormone replacement therapy, but she’s a bit iffy about taking it. How can I resolve my strong desire for her when she’s told me straight-out that she feels guilty she isn’t able to share those special moments with me anymore? — Chagrined in Chicago
Dear Chagrined: Betty needs to understand that although her desire is diminished and there may be some physical difficulties with intimacy, she must make the effort for the health of her marriage. This doesn’t necessarily mean hormone replacement if she doesn’t want to take it, but it does require some accommodation and a willingness to try. If she refuses to discuss this with you, a counselor or her doctor, cut this letter out, put it on her pillow tonight and tell her we think she should make every effort to work on this.
Dear Annie: “A Bewildered Mother” said she found out on Facebook that her daughter had married. She said she only spoke to her every six weeks. In your response, you referred to her “semi-annual” phone calls. But semi-annual means twice a year, not every six weeks. — Kathy in the Villages
Dear Kathy: You are right — along with the dozens of other readers who took us to task for getting it wrong. Thirty lashes with a wet noodle for us.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email 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.