KATHY MITCHELL AND MARCY SUGAR | Annie's Mailbox Her marriage to 'Luther' isn't a failure
Dear Annie: I have been happily married to a wonderful man for seven years. "Luther" is very caring and loving, and we rarely quarrel. For the past several months, however, we have been fighting constantly and picking on each other for nearly everything, big and small.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about "John," a guy I dated in college. I can't imagine why. I haven't seen him in 12 years, and our breakup was horrible. He cheated on me, and when he dumped me, I was absolutely crushed. Yet I dream about John nearly every night, think about him all day, and wonder where and how he is. Last night, I dreamt John gave me a delicious hug -- and I realized I have never received a hug like that from Luther. I woke up feeling very sad.
Is my once-wonderful marriage a failure? I have seen a counselor and even tried hypnosis. I love my husband very, very much. Please help me. Wife in Houston
Dear Houston: Your marriage is not a failure. You have been having some rough times lately, and that is why you are romanticizing a past relationship. Obviously, there are elements of your marriage that are disappointing you. If your previous marriage counselor did not help, please don't give up. Find another counselor (sometimes it takes a few tries to get a good match), and ask Luther to go with you. He needs to hear what you have to say.
Dear Annie: I am 85 years old and live in a retirement community. Six months ago, a new neighbor moved in downstairs. Within a week, this woman began to bang on her ceiling and call me up to complain about the noise whenever my granddaughter and her two young children came over. These kids do run around a bit, but they only visit once a month, usually at dinnertime. They leave before 9 p.m.
I never had any complaints from my neighbors before. This woman has called the manager several times, uses the most foul language and has threatened to call the police. My husband and I had a meeting with her and the manager, and she said children should not be allowed in a housing complex for the elderly. She also asked me to limit the number of times my great-grandchildren visit and said no noise past 8 p.m. The manager said I was not legally bound by her suggestions, but I nonetheless agreed to her demands in order to keep the peace.
Family is important to me. My relatives haven't visited for two weeks, although I have gone out with them. Now I hear from other residents in the building that this woman is complaining about the smell from my garbage disposal. Any advice? Trying to be Civil in Guilford, Conn.
Dear Civil: This woman apparently has too much time on her hands and she enjoys complaining. If you think her problem is loneliness, you can try to befriend her, but it's no guarantee. If she registers another complaint, speak to the management about your responsibilities as a resident, and get it in writing. As long as you are following the rules of your complex, feel free to ignore her.
Dear Annie: We have twin daughters graduating from high school next spring. Would it be tacky to send one graduation invitation with both the girls' name cards in it? It would save on paper and postage. Baton Rouge, La.
Dear Baton Rouge: Go ahead and send a single invitation. Unless the graduation is open to everyone, chances are you will have a limited number of invitations, and those who receive them will be close family or friends.
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