Posted: Tuesday, June 30, 2009 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I have been married to my true love for 16 years. “Daniel” is a wonderful husband, a fantastic father to our three boys, a generous and successful businessman with many friends and a great guy. My problem is his mother. She cannot see what a wonderful person her son is.
For years I have listened to her verbally abuse him. In her opinion, he does nothing right. About 12 years ago, his now-deceased father had a minor stroke and turned the family business over to Daniel. It was quite stressful since he had to learn everything and then pay his father to buy him out. Daniel also paid his sisters an early “inheritance” for their share of the business. He has since more than doubled the size of the company.
However, his mother never ceases to tell him he’s lazy and doesn’t work hard enough. His sisters never defend him and are quick to criticize, as well. They don’t appreciate that Daniel’s sense of responsibility has enabled their current lifestyles. Daniel tries to be a loving son, and we do lots of family things together. He helps his mother whenever she calls, yet she constantly bad-mouths him to everyone. She actually told one employee that he is a terrible son and nothing like his father. This hurt him tremendously, and now he’s thinking of quitting the business.
It makes me sad to the point of tears that a mother cannot respect, love and be proud of her son. How do I convince her that he is a good person and she is throwing away the relationship? — Heartbroken for Hubby
Dear Heartbroken: This dynamic has probably been set in concrete since Daniel was a child and isn’t likely to change unless someone establishes new rules. Daniel needs to assert himself and refuse to be treated so poorly. It might help to discuss this with a third party — perhaps a counselor or clergyperson who can work with the entire family. Otherwise, let Daniel handle this as he chooses. Your job is to be supportive, which you already are. We hope Daniel appreciates you.
Dear Annie: Sex is expensive. My wife and I are 74 years old and have been married 55 years. We still do it at least three times a week. Admittedly, I need a little help. The problem is, the price of Viagra has gone up a lot over the years, and the monthly cost is very high, even when splitting a pill.
I don’t trust purchasing generic from a foreign country. Since Viagra has been on the market for many years, how soon is it likely to become generic in the United States? — Still Active at 74
Dear Still: Viagra is the trade name for sildenafil citrate. Pfizer’s worldwide patents are set to expire between 2011 and 2013. If you can’t wait that long, explain the problem to your doctor and ask about cheaper alternatives. Your pharmacist might also be able to offer some suggestions.
Dear Annie: I was glad to hear your response to “Shocked in Missouri,” who destroyed correspondence from her in-laws because she said it contained information she didn’t think her husband should know. I, too, had a shock when I went through my mother’s possessions. She had given me the wrong year, date and time of her wedding. It was two years earlier than I thought. I spoke at my father’s funeral and said they were only married 21 years when he died at 55 and, in hindsight, feel like a fool. It makes me question what else they left out.
I will always wonder and feel hurt that they never told me the truth, but I can deal with it. Apparently, “Shocked” doesn’t believe her husband is adult enough to cope, and in any case, it was not her decision to make. — Glad I Know
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 6.30.09