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Annie’s Mailbox – 2.8.12

Annie’s Mailbox – 2.8.12

Posted: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 11:03 pm
By: By Kathy Mitchell & Marcy Sugar

The Messenger 02.08.12

Dear Annie: I have been married to “Clifford” for 36 years. He recently told me he is in love with his secretary and wants to be with her. Did I mention she is 23 and in the process of getting a divorce?
Clifford is the last person I would have expected to do this. I know I can be difficult, but he’s not perfect, either. I love him and thought he felt the same. He says he doesn’t know whom he wants to be with, but he spends all his time with his girlfriend, so I don’t have much of a chance of getting him back.
We have two grown children who are totally disillusioned and disappointed in their father. Do I wait for him to decide? For how long? — Crushed Heart
Dear Crushed: See a lawyer immediately. Whatever Clifford decides, you must protect yourself financially in the interim. Make the necessary arrangements to manage on your own should that turn out to be the case. We also recommend you get some counseling to help you deal with the uncertainty of your situation and prepare for the possibility that your marriage is over. How long you are willing to stay in limbo is up to you, but don’t feel pressured to rush into anything. Clifford may ask for a divorce, he might return to you, or you could get tired of waiting and want out.
Dear Annie: My husband and I both work and make good incomes. He has two daughters, now aged 16 and 19, and I have been their stepmom for 12 years. I love them dearly.
Last Christmas, each child received nearly $400 in cash gifts from the extended family. A week later, both girls saw jackets they wanted. I said we would pay half and they could use some of their Christmas money to contribute the other half. One chose to buy a $140 jacket. The other decided not to buy anything. I find that they are choosier when they chip in.
My husband was irked that I required them to pay half. He prefers that they have minimal financial pressure so they can concentrate all their time and effort on schoolwork and not worry about getting a job. What do you think? — Stepmom
Dear Stepmom: We’ve got your back on this one. It’s not as if the girls needed the money to buy food. Asking them to help pay for nonessential luxury items, especially when they have plenty of cash to do so, teaches them something about financial responsibility and delayed gratification. Overindulgence, no matter how tempting, may make the parents feel good, but it can cripple the children in the long run.
Dear Annie: “Understands in Nebraska” was the most recent of several letters from women who have lost their desire for sex and can’t understand why their husbands still want intimacy. That was me a few years ago.
I had no desire for sex, but complied, as I felt it was my “duty.” Eight years ago, we moved to a new city, which meant new doctors. I found a wonderful ob-gyn who was compassionate and intuitive. She asked about my libido, and I told her the truth. She explained in depth about how hormones can become depleted after menopause. I had taken synthetic hormones, but stopped due to health concerns. She said they now have safer alternatives and suggested I try a low dose. Of course, there is always a slight risk involved with any medication, but I was willing to try.
That first month was amazing. Not only did I have more energy, but my libido came back and sex was better than ever. I want these women to know they can feel healthy and energetic again. Bio-identical hormones and testosterone changed my life. — Still Frisky at 60
Dear Frisky: Thanks for the testimonial. Readers should understand that bio-identical hormones are still hormones, and everyone reacts differently.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email questions to or write to Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. 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


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