Posted: Monday, August 22, 2011 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: Seven months ago, I married “Jake.” Since that day, his family has refused to communicate with us. They claim my bridesmaids were “out to get them” and told Jake that I “talk too much about my travels.” Why would they lie about such things? We’ve attempted to work it out, but they refuse our calls. We’ve given up and are waiting for them to contact us.
We recently found out that Jake’s sister had a baby girl. I am thrilled to be an aunt, but they won’t let me see the baby. Last week, we received an e-mail from Jake’s brother, accusing my husband of “trading families.” Since when does spending time with your in-laws count as trading families?
My family loves my husband, and since we live in the same town, we see one another frequently. My in-laws live three hours away. We used to see them once a month. His brother said they are no longer brothers and wished him good luck on the rest of his life. We responded that we’re more than willing to work things out, but it’s impossible if no one is truthful and no one talks to us.
I’ve never seen adults act this way. I want our future children to know their father’s family, but I don’t want them subjected to such strange, negative people. I’d rather show them photographs and let them hear good stories.
The last time we spoke to them was seven months ago. Are we right to wait it out? Should we try talking to them again, or just write it off as a horrible loss? — Lost Newlyweds
Dear Newlyweds: We don’t know what soured this relationship at the wedding, but there is little hope for reconciliation if the in-laws won’t speak to you. Jake should try contacting his parents and siblings individually and ask if they would be willing to join the two of you for family counseling to work this out. If they refuse, sorry to say, there’s not much else you can do.
Dear Annie: I am a 15-year-old boy, and my mother is very protective. For about three years, I’ve craved a longer leash and have asked Mom to give me more independence. Her only reply is, “The world is too dangerous for my little bird.”
My mother says she wants to spend more time with me, give me more hugs and spoil me. I’m trying to break away, not be smothered. All I’m asking is to take bike rides and walks by myself. What can I do to convince her to let go a little? — Craving Independence
Dear Craving: Some overprotective parents think they are shielding their children from the cruel world, but in reality, they are simply preventing them from learning how to cope with life. She can still give you plenty of hugs, but responsible self-reliance should be encouraged.
Show your Mom this letter, and tell her you wrote it. We hope she can loosen the apron strings a little. And if that doesn’t help, please discuss the situation with your guidance counselor when school resumes.
Dear Annie: “Wondering About the Brew in Massachusetts” asked if non- alcoholic beer could be harmful to recovering alcoholics. I disagree with your response that it could be for some. The amount of alcohol is miniscule.
My husband was finally able to quit drinking, and non-alcoholic beer has been his key to success. It makes him feel less deprived and helps to satisfy him, and he knows he must always be vigilant. Our family is grateful every day that we have our husband and father back. We had forgotten what a nice person he is. Being around a mean, nasty person for 45 years was not easy. — Mr. Nice Guy’s Wife in California
Dear Wife: We will reiterate our original response: The smell (not the taste) of non-alcoholic beer can trigger a relapse in some alcoholics. We’re glad that wasn’t the case for your husband, but each reaction is individual, and one needs to be careful.
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 8.22.11