Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I’ve been married for 20 years, but I have a situation at home and don’t know what to do anymore.
My wife gets angry over little things on a daily basis. She is constantly upset about things people do or don’t do. If a child eats a cookie, she will throw a fit and then get mad at everyone else in the household. She will sulk and give everyone the silent treatment, and if you attempt to talk things over, she will walk away or leave the house.
Her anger used to appear every few days, but now it’s multiple times morning and night. She is seeing a therapist, but she tells him it’s everyone else’s fault — her parents didn’t bring her up right, her friends aren’t supportive enough, her children don’t behave, etc., etc.
We saw a marriage counselor, but she got angry with him for asking too many questions. Then she got mad at me for seeing the counselor on my own. I’ve often thought of leaving, but my parents divorced, and I can’t do that to my children.
My wife and I are both in our early 50s, but her temper tantrums affect everything in our marriage, including intimacy. I’ve lost interest. What can I do? — Tired of Living with Silent Bob
Dear Tired: Until your wife recognizes that she has a problem, she cannot work on making it better. Many women struggle with hormonal imbalances during menopause, making it harder to control existing emotional issues. This could be why your wife’s anger has gotten worse. Go back to your counselor and ask for help communicating with her. She has to understand that her marriage is at stake.
Dear Annie: I am 13 years old and have two best friends. I’ve been friends with “Emma” forever, and I just started getting close to “Maria.”
The problem is, Emma has been giving me the cold shoulder because I’ve been spending a lot of time with Maria. When I brought it up with her, she admitted it. Even though I’ve been going over to Emma’s house a lot more, the situation hasn’t gotten any better. When I’m around both of them, I try to give them equal attention, but Emma still brushes me off. There are times when she is nice like before, but not always. What do I do? — Friend Problems
Dear Friend: Emma is too jealous of Maria to include her in the friendship she has with you. This is not an uncommon response when someone new disrupts an existing relationship. Emma wants you to stop being chummy with Maria, but we urge you not to cave in to that pressure, or it will limit all your future friendships. Spending more individual time with Emma is a good idea, but she is the one who must deal with her jealousy. We hope she can learn to share.
Dear Annie: I’m a 7th-grade teacher and often find items in your column to discuss with my students.
“Heartbroken in Texas” said her husband’s co-workers were sending photos of semi-clothed women to his business cellphone. In addition to your reply, I would like to say that this may also constitute sexual harassment and is covered under federal law. — Allison
Dear Allison: Sexual harassment can include creating a hostile or offensive work environment. However, most such cases need to be gender-based, meaning female co-workers would have to be aware of these photos. But these laws are constantly evolving, and some companies have their own policies in place, as well.
Dear Readers: Today is Flag Day and the 32nd Annual Pause for the Pledge of Allegiance at 7 p.m. (Eastern time). For more information, log on to americanflagfoundation.org.
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 6.14.11