Posted: Thursday, February 19, 2009 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I need some advice. My wife has anger issues. A few days ago, we moved our youngest son to a different bedroom and the two of them got into it. She wanted him to do something her way, and he wanted to do it his way. She got mad and said, “I’m done, done, done.” Now she is sleeping in his old room and won’t talk to anyone.
Our oldest son just moved out and part of the reason is because of his mother’s mood changes. One moment she’s fine, then bam, she’s like a totally different person. He thinks she is bipolar. I talked to our doctor, who says my wife should be examined and probably needs to be on medication, but I know she won’t go.
I love my wife with all my heart, but I’m afraid if she keeps this up, she will alienate the rest of the kids. I’m trying my best to keep our family intact, but I’m tired of doing it alone.
I know if you print this I’ll be in the doghouse again, but I’ll take the chance, hoping it will make her wake up. — Lonely in Rockford, Ill.
Dear Lonely: If your wife has a mental health problem (and it sounds like it), she may not recognize that any of this friction is a result of her own behavior. She quite possibly believes everyone feels as she does. Don’t assume she won’t see a doctor. Talk to her about your concerns and ask her to consult someone. Explain that it could make a world of difference for all of you. Meanwhile, contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness (nami.org) at 1-800-950-NAMI (1-800-950-6294) and ask for help.
Dear Annie: My husband and I are in our 60s and have been married for only a few years. We each had been single for a long time and are happy to have found each other. We both have children in their 30s. His daughters live across the country.
The problem is, the girls never remember his birthday and this hurts him very much. Mind you, the older one regularly sends him HER birthday list a month in advance. This year I called to remind them, and one got mad at me because I hadn’t given her “enough time.” Their dad raised these girls after his divorce. He sent them to college and helped them through many bad times. Both girls have been married and divorced, and he has been there for them. They call him frequently with their problems.
Why are these women so self-centered? One year I gave them calendars for Christmas with their dad’s birthday circled, and they still didn’t bother to send a card. It makes me furious how they treat him. Any advice? — Florida Stepmom
Dear Florida: Start small. The morning of Dad’s birthday, phone the girls and ask sweetly if they will give their father a call on his special day. The following year, phone them a week ahead and suggest they send Dad a card. If these suggestions fall on deaf ears, you’re out of luck. Try not to make too big a deal out of it, since that will just fan the flames. Instead, make special plans of your own.
Dear Annie: You told “South Bend, Ind.,” to donate those “hotel extras” like shampoo and hand lotion. Those hotel extras are in our rooms for the benefit of our guests while they stay with us. Would you suggest taking a towel or a pillow from a hotel room?
In this time of recession, maybe you should allow hoteliers and innkeepers to make their own donations. The inevitable result is either prices will go up or standards will go down. — Pennsylvania Innkeeper
Dear Innkeeper: Many hotels have no objection to guests taking those sample-sized bottles of shampoo, conditioner, hand lotion, etc. If your inn considers it stealing, you should inform your guests so they do not take what does not belong to them.
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 2.19.09