Dear Annie: My beautiful wife, aided and abetted by playing computer games for several hours each day, leads a virtually sedentary and reclusive life outside of her full-time job. She has regained a vast amount of the weight she lost a few years ago and is now significantly obese. I worry about her health and our future together.
We are currently seeing a qualified counselor whom we both like and who has told me I cannot press my wife to lose weight — that even mentioning it is counterproductive. This is something she must decide to do on her own.
Fortunately, I have other facets of my life that bring me fulfillment and joy, but I am consumed with worry and heartache every day. Is there any advice you can offer to help us? — Active Husband
Dear Husband: There truly isn’t much you can do to get someone else to lose weight. And anyone who spends so much time on video games that her health is compromised may be addicted or severely depressed, and we hope your counselor is addressing both these possibilities. In the meantime, since she likes video games, you might want to invest in some that require physical activity — like the Wii game system or Dance Dance Revolution, which you can do together solely for fun. You also can ask her to accompany you for a long stroll in the moonlight after dinner. Mostly, she needs to feel she is worthy of your love, regardless of her size.
Dear Annie: I snooped on my boyfriend’s computer and found an e-mail to a female friend of his who is 20 years his junior. It contained inappropriate offers of a full-body massage. I don’t think this woman is truly interested in him, but she seems to enjoy the attention. He has sent suggestive e-mails to her before and I haven’t said anything, but this is the last straw. He swore their relationship was strictly business, including their occasional lunch meetings. My impression is, he has a thing for her and keeps hoping she will return his affection.
I am furious and intend to end our relationship, but I don’t want to be the bad guy. I want his parents to know what kind of person he really is, but he lies a lot and will deny the whole thing. Should I let him know I snooped and forward the e-mail to his parents? — Ticked in South Carolina
Dear Ticked: Please don’t. His parents may be unhappy about their son’s conduct, but they will forgive him. You, however, will look like a bitter, vengeful shrew. It’s not worth the momentary satisfaction.
Dear Annie: Last December, we moved into a new home. We put a carbon monoxide detector on both floors.
We woke up an hour after going to bed on Christmas Eve to a loud alarm from our carbon monoxide detector. My husband thought it was malfunctioning, but when the second detector went off, I called 9-1-1. We were told to open windows and go outside, and the fire department came and turned off our furnace. A subsequent inspection found nothing wrong with the furnace. We had several similar episodes, and each time, we turned off the furnace and opened all the windows.
Finally, a new inspector did something different. Instead of turning on the heater to see if it was emitting carbon monoxide, he left it off and inspected the inside with a light and a mirror. He found three cracks and explained that when we turned on the heater, the cracks allowed the carbon monoxide to come into the venting system. Once it heated up, the cracks closed due to the expansion of the metal.
We had our furnace replaced and all is fine now. But I would hate to think some other family might not wake up one morning. Please warn them. — Safe in California
Dear Safe: You just did. Thanks for pointing out the life-saving benefit of carbon monoxide detectors — and persistence in getting to the root of the problem.
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, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. 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 2.5.08