Posted: Friday, June 26, 2009 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: My wife and I met when we were in college. We are now 43. Ten years into the marriage, I became addicted to cocaine. We separated five years ago but remain very close.
I have been clean for a year and want to pursue our relationship as husband and wife. We still love each other and enjoy one another’s company. We also find each other physically attractive, but she refuses to return to the marriage or have a sexual relationship. It’s like being married without the physical contact. I have tried, but she always pushes me away. She wants the financial support, but not the emotional involvement. I am tired of this situation. I can’t live without her, and I hate living apart. I want her back. What should I do? — Gaithersburg, Md.
Dear Gaithersburg: We don’t know why your wife has no interest in a reconciliation. The best way to get to the heart of the matter is to seek professional counseling, preferably with your wife. However, if she won’t go, it means she has no interest in changing the situation. The counselor will then help you decide what your next step should be. It is unfair for you to remain in limbo. If she isn’t willing to be a complete partner, with all the trimmings, she should set you free, emotionally and legally.
Dear Annie: My husband’s nephew is getting married soon, and we received our invitation three weeks ago. The problem is, they didn’t invite my children, who are in their 30s. I realize people can invite whomever they choose, but couldn’t they have at least invited their first cousins to the dance? They have always gotten along beautifully.
There are going to be 150 people at the wedding, and only six of them are related on my husband’s side. It has made me not want to go. I can’t understand it. We’ve been family for 35 years. — Hurt and Angry
Dear Hurt: Unless you have planned a wedding, you may not appreciate how complicated the process can be. They undoubtedly have a limited guest list, not only for financial reasons, but possibly due to the size of the room. That includes available space for dancing. Perhaps they didn’t invite any cousins at all, from either side. People should not impose their preferences on others’ guest lists. We don’t believe this was an intentional slight, so please attend the wedding for your husband’s sake and try to have a good time.
Dear Annie: “Concerned About My Son’s Future” said her son experienced a mental breakdown during his first semester in college. I am saddened that this happened, but as a college administrator, I am troubled by her question: “What are the nation’s colleges doing about this problem?” The question implies that schools should provide regular mental health screenings for all students, and residence halls should be staffed with licensed professional counselors.
Colleges are educational institutions, not total care facilities. While we provide a variety of services to assist students with personal growth and development, it is not our job to anticipate or prevent every mental health issue. I’m sad the “school didn’t seem to care,” and I am sure they were “interested in avoiding liability” because of the parents’ implication that the school should somehow have been able to anticipate the very problem his parents were unable to foresee. — College Administrator
Dear Administrator: You are correct that some problems cannot be anticipated, and schools should not be blamed for this. But when parents send their children off to college, the school assumes the role of guardian. Even though most children are older than 18 and legally responsible for themselves, parents need to believe their child is being watched over and that serious problems will be noticed.
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 6.26.09