Posted: Tuesday, March 3, 2009 10:13 pm
Dear Annie: My husband and I are newlyweds living with my mother-in-law and it’s driving us crazy. We had to move in with her when our apartment flooded and I was five months pregnant. Since then, every time an opportunity to leave has come up, something happens to dash those hopes, usually involving our finances and my credit.
My husband goes to school full time and works part time, while I work full time. My mother-in-law is constantly telling us how to raise our baby, what is best for him, what he should eat, etc. She talked my husband into buying 20 acres of land and co-signed for it. Now he wants to get out of it, but can’t figure out how to do it without messing up his credit and his mother’s, as well.
Please help us get out from under my mother-in-law’s iron thumb. — Between the Mother-in-Law and the Bank
Dear Between: Since you are not in a position to leave, you and your husband need to sit down with Mom and set some boundaries. First talk to Hubby alone and make sure you both want the same things and he is willing to stand up to his mother. Then present a united front to Mom, letting your husband do most of the talking. It does not need to be confrontational.
Explain that living with her has been a financial lifesaver and you are enormously grateful. But in order for you to become responsible parents, you must be the ones in charge of your child’s care. You, your husband and child need to develop an autonomous unit so that when you are ready to move out, you will not be dependent on Mom.
As for the 20 acres, that is a separate issue. In the current economy, we don’t know if your husband can sell the land or whether it’s beneficial to sell at a loss, but he needs to discuss this frankly with his mother and reach an agreement.
Dear Annie: I am way too embarrassed to ask my doctor this question, but you seem to have an answer for almost everything.
When women have gone through menopause or had a hysterectomy, are they still able to climax during sex? — Just Wondering for Future Reference
Dear Wondering: Yes. However, for some women, sex can become uncomfortable and that might inhibit response, in which case you should look into over-the-counter lubricants or talk to your doctor about hormones and other possibilities.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Desperate Mom,” whose 9-year-old son has stabbed two people with a pencil, hit a classmate and told others he had a bomb. He is defiant, never smiles and has no emotion or remorse.
My now 17-year-old grandson has had the same problems, starting when he was 6 and escalating over the years to actual violence. He threatened to kill us, burn down our home, blow up his school, kill his teachers and more. He was arrested when he was 12 and has been in the juvenile justice system six times.
We put him in counseling when he was 7, and he was misdiagnosed numerous times and prescribed the wrong medications. After spending less than 10 minutes examining my son, psychiatrists thought he had ADD, ADHD or was bipolar. He was never any of those. After nine years of incorrect guesses, he has been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a highly functioning form of autism.
Parents need to be their child’s advocate and not be afraid to stand up to doctors who might be wrong. I hope “Desperate” will check out the Asperger’s website (aspergersyndrome.org) to see whether their son exhibits any of the symptoms. My heart goes out to her. — Been There, Too
Dear Been There: Thank you for the information. Interested readers also can contact MAAP Services for Autism and Asperger Syndrome (maapservices.org) at P.O. Box 524, Crown Point, IN 46307.
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 3.3.09