Posted: Friday, November 21, 2008 8:44 am
Dear Annie: I am a freshman in college and have been with my boyfriend, a senior in high school, for two years. Before I graduated, we were inseparable. Now that I’m two hours away, it’s taking a huge toll on me.
I started out liking my college, but now that it’s kicked in that he’s not here, I’ve begun to hate it. We agreed that next year when he graduates we’ll attend the same college. We’ve even selected the school we want. Our families and friends, however, think that’s a bad idea. They say we’ll end up resenting each other down the road.
Please tell me, Annie, is this a bad idea? We are young, but we do love each other. And the last thing I want is to have him resent me. — Missing Him
Dear Missing: Whether or not you’re in school together, the problem is the same. Being at college can be eye-opening for one’s social life, and frankly, we think it’s healthy to widen your options at that age. Your boyfriend may look around and decide he’s not ready to commit to one woman. How would you feel if he wanted to date others? If you are fair to him (and yourself) and allow each other the freedom to see other people, he won’t resent you, although you might not like the choices he makes.
Dear Annie: My beautiful wife, who is considerably younger than me, has allowed herself to gain more than 100 pounds over the last two years and is now in a state of semi-disability. She walks up and down steps like an elderly person, asks to be let off at the door to wherever we drive and has me do things for her at home so she can avoid walking up and down stairs. She can no longer stand long enough to cook meals of any complexity.
She says she is not depressed, and a counselor we saw for an extended period of time agreed. The counselor told me nothing will make my wife lose weight until she is ready, and that it is counterproductive for me to mention it. I am frustrated and resent what my wife has done to herself. I’m sure she’d feel the same way about me if I were to become, say, an alcoholic.
I work hard to remain fit and feel cheated that my wife has let herself go. What can I do? — In Distress
Dear In Distress: Not much. The counselor could be mistaken about depression, and some people use weight as a way to control those around them. However, gaining so much in such a short period of time could indicate a medical problem. Suggest your wife get a complete checkup because she is at risk for developing diabetes. Tell her you love her and want her to stay well. Encourage her to join you for a short walk after dinner. Help her prepare nutritious meals because they’re good for both of you. Make this about her health, not her size.
Dear Annie: “No Name as It Will Cause Arguments” worried about her in-laws’ driving. You recommended the AARP Driver Safety Program (DSP).
I am a volunteer DSP instructor. The program is designed specifically for drivers older than 50 to help them understand the effects of aging on driving, and it shows how to adjust driving strategies to allow for these changes.
But AARP also offers a free 90-minute forum, “We Need to Talk,” for families concerned about the safety of their older relatives and friends. It includes crafting candid, effectual discussions about driving safety, warning signs, strategies for alternative transportation and what to do if a parent or friend has dementia or a high-risk driver refuses to stop driving. The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. and the MIT AgeLab developed this information to help families initiate productive and caring conversations with older adults about driving safety. — Mark D. Berg, Gettysburg, Pa.
Dear Mark Berg: Thank you for the excellent information. Readers should be aware that this program is not available in all states. To find out, check the AARP office in your area.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. 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 11.20.08