Posted: Thursday, September 11, 2008 9:52 pm
Dear Annie: I have been dating “Shawn” for a little over a year. We are very much in love and talking about marriage. Shawn has an excellent career. I have been unemployed for the last couple of months, and he has not let me forget it. Every time I come to his house, he greets me by saying sarcastically, “So, did you have a hard day at work today?”
Shawn expects me to clean his apartment every time I visit because I “don’t do anything all day.” Every time we go to a restaurant or grocery store, he makes me feel guilty that he has to spend some of his greens on his unemployed girlfriend.
I am planning to go back to school next year, but he wants me to go back immediately. I have no intention of relying on a man to take care of me, but that’s not good enough for Shawn. When I met him, I was a housekeeper, and he now says if I want us to stay together, I need to work for more than minimum wage.
I want Shawn to support my decisions, but his attitude doesn’t give me much hope for our future. I am so sick of his endless remarks about me working and going to school, and that he otherwise doesn’t want to be with me. Is it possible he just wants what is best for me? — Unemployed Ursula
Dear Ursula: It sounds like he wants what is best for him. It’s not bad advice for you to get your act together sooner rather than later, and if you haven’t been actively seeking employment, you should. But the stream of sarcastic comments does not speak well for Shawn, and it is a bad dynamic in a relationship when one partner feels entitled to belittle the other. If this is how Shawn behaves when he’s “in love,” he’s likely to be even more verbally abusive when you are married. If you are determined to stay in this relationship, please get premarital counseling before making any further commitment.
Dear Annie: My daughter is getting married soon. Her aunts and cousins live out of state. They are on our wedding guest list, but is it proper to invite them to the bridal shower two months before? I don’t want them to feel left out, but I also don’t want an invitation to look as if we are trolling for presents. Should I send along a note saying they are not obligated to send a gift? — Concerned Mother of the Bride
Dear Mother: It is not necessary to send shower invitations to guests who live out of state and cannot attend. If there are grandmothers, you can send them invitations as a courtesy. It is perfectly OK, however, to simply call the aunts and say how much you wish they lived closer so they could participate in the local festivities.
Dear Annie: I wanted to add something to your reply to “C.,” whose father-in-law has lung cancer and she is having problems dealing with his rude behavior.
I am recovering from cancer. Some of us are very angry, and although we don’t intend to, we take our anger out on others. We worry we are going to die and are frustrated when we cannot do the things we used to.
Those who have family or friends struggling with cancer should understand that the emotional impact is just as difficult as the physical one. If we become hard to deal with, I hope they will understand this is part of the illness. — Surviving
Dear Surviving: Thank you for reminding all of us to be patient with those who are battling disease.
Annie’s Snippet for Patriot Day (credit Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address): We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
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, 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 9.11.08