Posted: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 12:28 pm
Dear Annie: “Ed” and I have been married for six months. He is a wonderful husband in every way except one: He refuses to discuss our financial situation with me. I know nothing about the mortgage payments, utility bills or insurance. I don’t even know Ed’s salary at his high-level government job. I have repeatedly asked him to sit down with me and talk about these matters, but he says, “Some other time,” and it never happens.
I have a part-time job that does not pay a great deal, although I have told Ed I’d like to contribute toward our expenses. He brushed that idea aside, saying whatever I earn is mine to spend as I see fit. I spend some of my money on groceries and household items, but it doesn’t matter to Ed.
My friends tell me I am lucky to have a husband who takes care of all the bills. But I feel like a kept woman and not an equal partner in the marriage. I have no reason to believe Ed is involved in anything shady or that we are in debt. What do you suppose is going on? -- Left in the Dark
Dear Left: By keeping you in the dark, Ed controls the money in your relationship. This is unfair and potentially dangerous. Don’t let him be evasive. Ask him for a specific date to go over your finances, mark it on the calendar and remind him. Write down all your questions so you don’t forget anything. If he still avoids discussing it with you or treats you as if you have no right to know, tell him it seems suspicious and is undermining your trust in him. Next stop: a counselor or a lawyer.
Dear Annie: My sensitive 26-year-old daughter mumbles and sounds inarticulate. Is there a way to let her know that she can work on this speech disorder?
She doesn’t believe she has a problem. Her friends and family members simply ask her to repeat herself. In school, people told her she was hard to understand, and a few made fun of her. In formal, professional situations, she makes an effort to be clear, but once she’s comfortable, she falls back into making mumbling noises and slurring her words.
I’m just waking up to the fact that her baby-talk may not cure itself over time. I tried to get her into counseling after her father died, but it didn’t take. She has since moved to another town and is trying to support herself with temporary jobs. Her speech has affected her confidence. I’d like to help by paying for sessions with a speech therapist, but she’s likely to cringe at the suggestion. Should I just give up and continue to pretend to understand her when we talk on the phone? How do I approach this? -- A Sad Mother
Dear Mom: Inarticulate speech patterns are best addressed at a young age. At 26, your daughter’s mumbling is completely entrenched and will require great effort and constant practice to change. But it can be done if she is motivated enough. Don’t be afraid to risk her anger or embarrassment. Someone needs to tell her she sounds unprofessional and childish. If she has a good friend who would be willing to back you up, that may help convince her that she needs some assistance.
Dear Annie: I agree with your response to “Mother of the Bride,” whose ex-husband threatened not to walk his daughter down the aisle if she invited certain relatives. But I think you should have added that any father who cannot put aside his own desires for one day in order to make his daughter happy on her wedding day doesn’t deserve the honor of walking her down the aisle. -- Montreal Mom
Dear Montreal: We don’t disagree, but it’s not up to us. It was important to the bride that Dad walk her down the aisle. She is the only one who can decide what emotional price she is willing to pay for such a “privilege.”
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, 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 8.16.11