Posted: Friday, November 4, 2011 8:02 pm
Dear Annie: I have a year-old son whom I love more than anything in the world. My girlfriend, “Karen,” and I are trying to be good parents.
The problem is, Karen and I have broken up several times due to arguments that got out of control. She has a terrible temper. Usually, a month after our breakups, she pulls out all the stops to get me back.
Since our son’s birth, we’ve stuck together, but we still fight. Twice, Karen has threatened to take our son and leave. The fighting is wearing me down. I have considered proposing because I know it will make her happy. And she really is a great mother. But as soon as I consider finding a ring, we end up having another ridiculous fight.
I’ve suggested counseling and church, and although she has agreed, I can’t get her to schedule anything. Should our son be exposed to our constant fighting and the possibility of a split, or is it better for him to grow up with separated parents who can be civil toward each other? — Balancing on a Cliff in Connecticut
Dear Cliff: It’s better for kids to grow up in a stable environment with two committed, loving parents. There is still a chance that you can achieve this, but it will require counseling. Don’t wait for Karen to schedule an appointment. She is too afraid that a counselor will blame her for all your troubles, and you should assure her that this is not what a good counselor does. Make an appointment on your own, and ask her to be there. If she refuses, please go without her.
Dear Annie: All I want to do is get a job so I can have food on the table to feed my family. Yet, every time I fill out an application, they ask about college. If I don’t check the box that says I went to college or intend to go, I don’t hear from them.
I am retired and need some extra money because my sons can’t find work and they are living at home, along with my granddaughter. My wife is already working 60 hours a week. How am I going to support all of them if I can’t get some extra money? — Proud Vet Who Can’t Find Work
Dear Vet: You seem to be searching in the wrong places. Many jobs do not require a college degree. While the job market is tight right now, please check out these suggested websites for seniors and retirees who need assistance or training: retirementjobs.com, workforce50.com and experienceworks.org. We hope one of them will steer you in the right direction. Good luck.
Dear Annie: “Miss My Sister” said her bipolar sister didn’t think she had any friends, but the funeral was standing room only. How many of those “friends” were in her sister’s life before she killed herself?
I, too, have been contemplating suicide. I do not believe I am depressed, but I do feel invisible and that no one would miss me if I died. I have been divorced for five years. I have a good job, my own home, work out regularly and am active in my church. I am close with my family, have many acquaintances and a few good friends. I still feel alone. I would love it if someone would call once in a while and ask me to go to dinner or shopping. If I did commit suicide, it would not be to hurt my family, but to take the hurt away from me. — Lonely
Dear Lonely: You may not believe you are depressed, but your letter says otherwise. Someone who has close family and good friends should not feel invisible and alone. Sometimes it’s a matter of perspective or effort. But it could also be a medical or psychiatric problem. Make an appointment for a complete checkup, and then ask your doctor to refer you to a mental health professional. When suicidal thoughts crop up, contact the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email 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 11.4.11