Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married over a year. We were both separated from our spouses when we met and, when we began dating, I didn’t expect or want anything serious. But soon we were in love and things moved very quickly. Now I feel I made a big mistake. I have discovered many things about him that I didn’t know. He’s moody and always has to be right and uses the fact that he is a high-ranking military officer to make me feel inadequate.
We recently got a dog because I wanted one. He is actually jealous of the dog, but said he must like it because he “hasn’t killed it yet.” When I said I would report him if he ever hurt the dog, he told me there would be no evidence and no one would ever take my word over his.
When we were overseas, I hated it, so he put in for a transfer because he knew I was miserable. Now he constantly tells me he would still be there if it weren’t for me and he can’t stand where we are now.
I don’t know where to turn. I just started college to get my teaching degree. I don’t have any friends here and my husband holds a very visible position of authority. I can’t even go to the doctor on base without everyone knowing it. I’m scared and lonely, but every day I have to smile and pretend to be Mrs. Happy. — Please Help Me
Dear Please: The fact that your husband is in a position of authority does not make it OK for your marriage to fall apart. Tell him you want to do everything possible to make things better for both of you. Don’t worry so much if others know you have problems. You need help and the military has counseling services available. Use them.
Dear Annie: My mother-in-law recently passed away, and I am the executor of her estate. Several months before Mom died, her house was sold and the contents were placed in storage. One of the items was a handmade sculpture from some very dear friends, “Betsy and Arthur.” Arthur made the item explicitly for my mother-in-law.
Arthur died recently and now Betsy wants the sculpture returned. Apparently, Arthur had promised to make one for her, but never had the chance. However, my daughter also wants the sculpture, since it is her favorite remembrance of her grandmother.
My daughter has been requesting the piece for many years, even telling her grandmother that she would be thrilled to have it. Betsy asked for the sculpture as soon as the house was placed on the market. If I give it to Betsy, my daughter will be heartbroken. But if I give it to my daughter, Betsy will be upset. What do I do? — Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Dear Between: You can ask your daughter if she would be willing to part with the sculpture for Betsy’s sake, but the piece belonged to her grandmother and is now part of your family’s possessions. It is not your daughter’s fault that Arthur never got around to making one for Betsy. Stop feeling guilty.
Dear Annie: We entertain quite often. Our friends always tell us how much they enjoyed the evening and that we must do it again soon, but it seems if we want to see them, we are the ones who have to issue the invitation.
These people compliment the meal and the company, so why are we never invited to their places? All of them live in very upscale homes with beautiful furnishings. — No Name, No City, No State
Dear No Name: There are people who like to be entertained, but rarely wish to make the same effort. Also, if you are good at this, they may feel inadequate in comparison. Take one of your friends aside and ask if there is a problem. It’s the only way you’re going to find out.
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 on 11.07.07