Posted: Friday, January 8, 2010 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: My 59-year-old husband of 15 years wants to leave the U.S. and move abroad for a few years because he is not getting along with his family. He insists I also pack up and move.
My three children are adults, but still, I do not want to leave them. I told my husband he cannot run away from his problems, but he insists that is not what he’s doing. But he provides no other reason for wanting to move out of the country.
I have no intention of moving to Europe or Mexico. If he wants to go, I plan to sell our house and move into an apartment, where I will await his return. I am too old to learn another language and adapt to another culture, find new doctors, get health and dental insurance, etc. I want to relax and enjoy my retirement, and visit my children.
I am not going. Period. Am I being selfish? — Staying Put in Texas
Dear Texas: No. This is the type of decision that should be mutually agreed upon. We will say that living in another country can expand your horizons and may be a better and more worthwhile experience than you are willing to accept. However, you should not be forced into it. One compromise would be for you to visit him for several months at a time. But keep in mind that long separations can occasionally lead to permanent ones.
Dear Annie: My 60-year-old husband is a reckless driver. He tailgates trucks on the interstate, looks around at the scenery, takes curves way too fast, always goes over the speed limit and often veers over the center line and onto the shoulder of the road because he isn’t paying attention. He also messes with the cruise control, radio and air conditioning. Riding with him makes me nervous, but if I say anything, no matter how nicely, he gets angry and speeds up.
Not long ago, we were driving home at night on the highway. It was raining, and the temperature was close to freezing. Everyone else on the road slowed down, and my husband went speeding past. I was so upset that I started to cry. It made no difference to him.
He ignores me when I say I’m afraid he might hit someone and kill them or us. Surprisingly, if he lets me drive, I always do so carefully because he develops carsickness. Other than this, he is a wonderful, thoughtful man, and it confuses me why he doesn’t respect my feelings and isn’t concerned with my safety. What can I do? — Nervous in Virginia
Dear Virginia: Some men equate driving with virility. It makes them feel young and macho to drive fast and recklessly. Your husband also may believe it proves how much he’s in control, when in reality, he’s simply been lucky. If you cannot get him to put your safety first, we highly recommend you stop riding with him, even if that means taking a taxi.
Dear Annie: After reading letters from readers who are depressed, I wanted to say that sometimes depression can be caused or exacerbated by vitamin D and calcium deficiencies. When my doctor told me both those levels were low, my husband and I decided to take supplements. After a year, I am pleased to say we are more energetic and have a better outlook on life. My husband has been occasionally plagued by depression, but it seems he is affected less often these days. We’re also careful to spend some time outdoors and exercise, as it really helps moodiness.
The final thing I’ve discovered is that oatmeal is a natural spirit lifter. On days when I’m low, a bowl of hot oatmeal with maple syrup and butter is better than pancakes. Sometimes a series of small lifts can make a big difference. — Happy To Be Back
Dear Happy: Thanks for the solid advice. And everyone should ask their physician about vitamin D levels, because deficiencies are not uncommon.
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 1.8.10