Posted: Friday, May 14, 2010 8:02 pm
Dear Annie: I have a 49-year-old stepdaughter, “Tina,” who was married for 20 years and has two children and four grandchildren. Tina has been divorced for five years and has dated regularly. Three months ago, she began an intimate lesbian relationship. She says this is normal for divorced women because men are no good.
I think this is a copout and she doesn’t want to deal with the reality that she cannot find a husband. Her children think she is nuts and want nothing to do with her. They also don’t know how to explain this to their children.
I was divorced for four years and eventually found a wonderful man. We have been married for 25 years. I never once thought of another woman. Just thinking about it turns my stomach. Is this something new? Is it normal? — Confused in Minnesota
Dear Confused: Most heterosexual divorced women do not turn to women because “men are no good.” It’s possible Tina is simply experimenting. But it is equally possible that she has always been attracted to women but never had the nerve to follow through until now. Either way, please try to let her sort it out on her own.
Dear Annie: I was married to Tom for 20 years before he died seven years ago. He had two daughters from his first marriage, both grown now, and we had three children together.
Tom expressed to me that he did not want to be buried alone at the cemetery. His will states that he be cremated and his urn kept “with his wife and children.” He also asked me to have his urn placed in my casket when I die.
Last year, our daughter was diagnosed with a terminal brain cancer. I thought that if she should die, I would place Tom’s urn in her casket. The problem is, Tom’s brother feels that since I have remarried, the cremains belong to him. He doesn’t care what Tom’s wishes were. He says I should have enough respect for his family to give them the ashes.
Tom was not close to his family. In the 20 years we were married, we saw his family members twice. Since his death, no one from his side, including grandparents, have contacted our children.
My children were devastated by their father’s death and cannot bear the thought of splitting up his remains. I agree with them and am trying to respect my deceased husband’s wishes. What do you think? — Once Widowed
Dear Once: If Tom’s will states that the ashes belong to you, then you get to decide what to do with them. While it would, of course, be extremely generous of you to give a portion of the cremains to Tom’s side of the family, it doesn’t sound as if the relationship will suffer if you choose not to. Do whatever brings you peace of mind. Our condolences.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Grieving in Kentucky,” who could not understand why her late husband’s brother has vanished from their lives.
My husband’s best friend passed away in his early 50s. We wanted to help his wife with the adjustment, but unfortunately, she began to use us as handymen. After several weekends spent at her house doing “chores” disguised as invitations to visit, we cut ties when she asked my husband over to change a light bulb that could be reached by a child.
At first we thought she was lonesome, but once the jobs were done, she would make it clear that she had other things to do. Many of her previous friends have also discontinued contact. — Sure Miss Him, But Not Her
Dear Sure: We don’t believe most widows (or widowers) are like that. It’s a shame this woman didn’t value the friendships for what they could offer emotionally.
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 5.14.10