Posted: Thursday, July 10, 2008 9:04 pm
Dear Annie: My 30-year-old stepson, “Dan,” has had problems with drugs and alcohol for years. Last year, he went through a rehab program but shortly after got back into drugs, had a horrible fight with his wife and said he was going to kill himself. She called us saying, “Just thought you should know.” We live four hours away and were scared to death. We called the sheriff, who found him and brought him to the hospital. He was kept in the psychiatric ward for 24 hours.
We took Dan to live with us so we could get him professional help. He stayed two months and it went very well. But when he returned home, he ignored the hard work we’d done and all the advice from his psychiatrist and counselor. Three days after he left, he got into an argument with his father, and even though my husband apologized immediately, they haven’t spoken since. His wife never wanted Dan to move in with us to begin with, so she’s not speaking to us either.
Annie, we are terribly hurt. I am trying to stay out of the middle, but as time goes by, it gets harder and harder to put forth any effort. Should I put on my big girl panties and try to facilitate healing? — Worried Stepmom
Dear Worried: There’s only so much you can do with an adult child who refuses to stay sober and in touch, especially if his wife is not cooperative. Your husband can send a letter or e-mail telling his son again that he is sorry about the argument, that he loves him and that his door is always open. You can write his wife expressing the same sentiments and trying to forge a closer bond. Beyond that, however, you will simply have to hope that time heals the rift.
Dear Annie: I know a lot of people like to multitask while talking on the phone. My cousin, however, has taken it too far. She talks on her phone while using the restroom. I can hear the toilet flush.
If that isn’t gross enough, I never hear water running to indicate she’s washed her hands. I visit her house often, and occasionally my husband or children will call there to speak to me, but I don’t want to touch her phone.
This happens whether I call her or she calls me. Am I overreacting, or is it rude to use the toilet while on the phone? — Disgusted by the Flush in Ohio
Dear Disgusted: It’s rude to do anything where the sounds of intimate behavior are audible over the phone. Your cousin probably assumes the noises can’t be heard, so you’d be doing her a favor by speaking up. The next time this happens say, “Are you in the bathroom? It sounds like a toilet flushing.” We have no idea if her water faucet is audible, so we don’t know whether she’s washing her hands, but it wouldn’t hurt to carry an antibacterial hand sanitizer with you, just in case.
Dear Annie: I can’t thank you enough! My wonderful husband is the sweetest, most caring man I could hope for, but he has no sexual desire. I have done everything to entice him and he saw his doctor, but still, nothing.
Then I read the letter from “Tired of Being Alone.” I had no idea there were asexual people. I don’t like not having sex, but because my husband is so wonderful, I’ve learned there are worse things to do without.
I’m going to keep the man of my dreams and smile, knowing I’m not alone in loving someone who is asexual. I pray I’ll have at least another 60 years with him. For that, I’m willing to be a nun. — Finally Found the Answer
Dear Finally: We are impressed with your willingness to put your husband’s good qualities above your own needs. We hope you have many happy years together.
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, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. 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 7.10.08