Posted: Tuesday, February 2, 2010 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: My brother is smart, nice and a good person. The problem is, he married the worst possible human being. The verbal abuse started eight years ago, and she began hitting him within the last three.
My sister-in-law has hit my brother with a hammer, a weight bar and any object in arm’s reach. She has also cut him with a knife. She calls him the worst, most demeaning names she can think of. She also isolates him from our family.
Two weeks ago, my brother left her for a few days and told me about the abuse. But after she phoned and texted repeatedly, he caved and went back to her. Since then, my sister-in-law has been kissing up to my mother and bashing me with nasty gossip. We are both sick of her and want her out of the family. She is poison. But we worry that if we say anything, my brother will stop talking to us. What can we do? — Worried Sister
Dear Worried: Men can be abused, too. Your sister-in-law is an abuser, and your brother may need help to get out of this destructive relationship. Most state domestic violence agencies now handle abused men, as well as women. Also, give your brother the number of the Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women, which is 1-888-7-HELPLINE (1-888-743-5754), and urge him to call before his wife does permanent damage.
Dear Annie: My father died of a heart attack two years ago. He had always told us, “Everything is taken care of,” and he was someone who never left out any detail.
When we tried to find out about his burial plans, we learned he had never made any. I also discovered that his brother, who died three months before, had done the same thing, telling my cousins, “Everything is arranged. Just go to the funeral home.” After he died, his children were asked how they intended to pay for the funeral. And their father was a man who sold life insurance!
These were two very astute businessmen who left their families in a great deal of grief and shock. Please ask your readers to make sure their loved ones have all their affairs in order. Have them discuss and write down their wishes for the funeral, and if the arrangements have been paid for, make sure you have a receipt. When you’re dealing with the death of a loved one, you don’t need an expensive surprise on top of your grief.
Our funeral director told us this happens more than anyone realizes. I don’t want anyone else to go through what we did. — Emotionally and Financially Drained
Dear Drained: Thank you for taking the time to alert our readers. People are often reluctant to discuss end-of-life issues, but it is important and necessary to do so. In times of grief, survivors can become overwhelmed and unable to make these decisions in a rational way. Please, folks, write down what you want and inform your loved ones today. You’ll sleep better.
Dear Annie: I had to respond to the letter from “Ring-a-Ding,” who complained about her small wedding ring diamond.
I, too, have a small diamond on my wedding ring, but my husband was working three jobs at the time so he could pay his bills. He chose the ring all by himself and surprised me. Every day, I look at it and feel lucky.
If she needs more bling, she can add to her wedding set. We added an anniversary band and, after our son was born, a second band with his birthstone and diamonds. These additions symbolize how our love has grown. — Fargo, N.D.
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, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. 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 2.2.10