Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2009 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I’m 27 years old and have been dating the handsome love of my life off and on since high school. Our relationship has always been based on friendship. It was love at a distance, mainly because I am a Christian and had my boundaries. When he was dating others, it never bothered me because we weren’t intimate.
With all the uncertainties of life, both of us are traumatized by the word “marriage.” He has his reasons and I have mine. I love him so much and want to spend my entire life with him. I want to be his wife and the mother of his children but am somehow afraid of the disappointments that could happen, even though he has never given me a reason to feel this way. He knows I love him, and he loves me, but the commitment terrifies me. What should we do? — Ready to Love
Dear Ready: Marriage is a leap of faith. You make the choice to believe things will work out for the best, and you accept that there are no guarantees. If you wait until you are absolutely certain that you will never be disappointed, you will remain paralyzed and do nothing. Of course, as long as the two of you are equally fearful, there’s no reason to push in one direction or the other. As soon as one of you is ready to commit, the other must be willing. Otherwise, let him go.
Dear Annie: I’m an 18-year-old high-school student. Three years ago, I confided in my mom that my grandfather molested me. It was hard for me to tell her, but I couldn’t hold it inside any longer. She told my great-grandmother and together they confronted Grandpa, who admitted everything. We haven’t pressed charges or told my grandmother, brothers or dad. Plus, my grandfather still acts like nothing happened between us.
I think my other family members need to know the truth, and I really want to tell them but then feel ashamed and keep silent. Sometimes I just want to end it all. Can you help, please? — Unhappy Granddaughter
Dear Unhappy: If there are other young girls in the family, they must have this information so they can be protected. Silence protects Grandpa. You did the right thing coming forward, but disclosing the abuse is only the first step. Contact RAINN (rainn.org) at 1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673) and ask for help.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Steamed,” who was upset with her husband’s friends for not spending enough time with them on a vacation. Thanks for pointing out that the guests may not have wanted to burden their hosts by expecting to be entertained every day. I wish those people were my friends.
We own a vacation home and often invite family members to visit and include them on our excursions. However, I would love it if these relatives would take some time on their own to explore, giving my husband and me a little break. It’s not that we don’t love the family, but it can be tiring to be around others constantly.
It sounds like these two couples might have done a better job communicating their expectations. I have made suggestions to our relatives to “take the grandkids to the park,” but they say, “Oh, let’s all stay together.” There’s another possibility, too. Maybe, after spending several hours together, the writer or her husband behaved in such a way that the guests didn’t want to be around them. Did they drink too much? Complain a lot? Not care to go anywhere the guests wanted? There are lots of reasons. — NFPS
Dear NFPS: There’s no way to know whether the visiting couple was attempting to be considerate or if there was some level of incompatibility, but thanks for pointing out the range of possibilities.
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 5.20.09