Posted: Tuesday, December 23, 2008 9:27 pm
Dear Annie: I have known “Gary” for three years and we are now engaged. I love him with all my heart and soul. However, I am being pushed just a little too far, not by Gary, but by his parents. He cannot say no to them.
Gary’s father has a major gambling problem, and his mother is a hard-core drinker. These people neglect Gary in his times of need and have tried to destroy everything in his life. They have used their son for money, which he doesn’t have, and played on his emotions by throwing guilt trips on him. They make him feel bad whenever they find out he has extra money in his bank account. Yet somehow they can find money for booze and casinos while their house is going into foreclosure.
I have minimal contact with his parents because they tried to split us up. They want Gary to move back in with them. When I talk to Gary about the controlling, manipulative, hurtful things his parents do, he gets mad and walks out on me. Last week was the third time he packed his things and left.
Gary is a kind, sweet man, but he won’t deal with this problem. He doesn’t like confrontation. I have been nice to his parents and even try to help them out within reason, but they still have it in for me.
I don’t see why we should be giving them money when we don’t have much. I am so burnt out over this that I can’t see us having any kind of future together. Am I making a mistake by marrying him? — Enough Already
Dear Enough: This is not about Gary’s parents. It’s about the way Gary responds to them. It is not a good sign that he refuses to stop enabling their addictive behaviors and then won’t discuss it. Suggest he contact Al-Anon (al-anon.alateen.org) and Gam-Anon (gam-anon.org) for information.
We guarantee this will be an ongoing problem, and whether or not you break off the engagement will depend on how much you are willing to tolerate.
Dear Annie: Recently, I needed to use the men’s room at a local bookstore, but there was a woman standing in front of the door. When I politely asked her to move, she said, “You can’t go in. A woman is using it.” I said, “Isn’t there a ladies room across the hall?” She replied, “All the stalls in there are full.”
I told an employee what was going on, but he wasn’t sure what to do, and by that time there were several men waiting impatiently to use the bathroom.
I know we need to be accommodating, but I doubt it would be acceptable for a man to take over the ladies room. Was this fair? — Crossing My Legs
Dear Crossing: Restrooms in retail stores are intended for one or two people at a time and no more. The woman should not have used the men’s room unless it was an absolute emergency. The employee could have knocked on the restroom door and asked the woman to please leave as soon as possible, but beyond that there was nothing you could do without getting arrested.
Dear Annie: “Really Married” is a refreshing change from all the guys who want us to feel sorry for them because they’re not getting as much sex as they want and think that justifies an affair or a divorce.
What a wonderful man to realize that sex is not the main part of a relationship, love is. He even appreciates his wife’s many years of being a good mother, and that she provided him with a wonderful family to love and cherish.
What a lucky woman she is to have such a caring, understanding, compassionate husband. God bless them both and I hope this man’s attitude is contagious. He gives me hope for all the other husbands out there, maybe even mine! — Still Waiting
Dear Still: He does indeed sound like a gem, and we hope his wife appreciates him.
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, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 12.23.08