Posted: Friday, June 18, 2010 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I am 26 and have been seriously dating “Bryan” for four years. We have lived together most of that time and love each other deeply.
Last year, Bryan was offered a promotion in another city and said he wouldn’t go unless I came along. I agreed, quit my job, depleted my savings and moved. Our relationship is strong. The problem is, Bryan refuses to talk about marriage. Every time I bring it up, he gets upset.
The last time, I told Bryan I would not wait forever and gave him an ultimatum — he has until the end of this year to propose, or he will lose me. I am not eager to leave, and I’m not desperate to marry, but I would like to know marriage is in the near future so I can plan. My biological clock is ticking, and I feel that if I don’t speak up, nothing will ever happen. Do you agree? — Tired of Waiting
Dear Tired: If you want marriage, you will have to push Bryan into it or get out of the relationship and find someone else. So yes, your ultimatum makes sense.
But you must be prepared to walk if he doesn’t come through. You have been with this man for four years and are entitled to know his intentions. But if he is incapable of discussing marriage without becoming upset, we don’t hold out a lot of hope.
Dear Annie: I am 14 years old and get along great with my parents, except for one thing. I don’t want to play football anymore.
Every time I bring up the possibility of not playing next year, my parents say I need structure and exercise. Right now, my team is having non-mandatory workouts twice a week. I go because they make me, and I try my hardest, but honestly, I hate it. During the actual season, it’s hard for me to finish school projects and homework, especially on game nights when we don’t get home until late. Please help me out. — No More Football
Dear NMF: Sometimes parents don’t realize how much pressure they put on a child when one of the parents has an idealized version of what their child should be. If your folks want you to be physically active and aren’t particular about the sport, perhaps you can find something else that you enjoy more. If it is specifically football, talk to your coach and also the school counselor, and ask them to intercede on your behalf.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Bummed Out in Bradenton, Fla.,” whose son served time on drug charges and, although he appeared eager to change his life, has not found work or done anything since his release.
I hope Dad won’t give up on him. Our son was arrested 18 months ago on drug charges and fought his addiction. But after his release, the depression set in. His doctor and psychologist explained that the depression would last longer than the addiction. I actually prayed for the morning when our son would get up and shower without being told to do so.
He showers now and brushes his teeth and gets to work on time. Last week, he handed me a little money to help with groceries, and I almost cried. He’s not entirely OK, but he’s moving steadily forward.
In order to succeed and stay clean, your son has to leave behind the crowd he hung out with. Our son’s network of friends is slim now, which means he needs our support more than ever. Attending self-help meetings has been a struggle, so he has private sessions with doctors who are willing to work with us on payments.
Please, Dad, stay involved with your son. You can’t imagine how much he needs you. And don’t hesitate to get some help for yourself. — Burned Out, Too
Dear Burned Out: Your son is extremely lucky to have parents who stand by his side and work with his doctors. We hope he will win this battle.
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 6.18.10