Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married 15 years, and we have two beautiful daughters, ages 7 and 10. "Luther" works hard as a fireman and is a good husband and father, except for one small problem -- he goes out with his buddies to a bar every single weekend, until all hours of the morning. I've asked him to compromise and go out only once in a while, but he won't budge. He feels he is owed "guy time."
We never go out together like we used to, and I never get "girl time" because he is always out. Our children also are suffering from not having their daddy around more. I'm certain he's not cheating, but I do feel that his buddies, all of whom are single, are coming between us.
What should I do? I am thinking of leaving because it makes me angry that he cares so little about my feelings. Please help. Brokenhearted, Lonesome Wife
Dear Lonesome: Firefighting is a stressful occupation, and Luther apparently believes going to bars with his friends is a good way to decompress. However, he should not discount his family's needs. It's OK for him to have a guy's night out once a week, but if you no longer spend any time together, he is using the bars to avoid his family.
It would help if Luther could relax with his wife and kids. How about a trip to an amusement park or the beach? Maybe he'd like to go bowling, play miniature golf or take everyone to the movies. If he isn't willing to find time for his family, you need to see a marriage counselor, together or by yourself, and work it out.
Dear Annie: I am 17 years old and am having a problem with my mother. Throughout school, I always have received average grades. My teachers tell me that I don't apply myself, which, at times, is true.
For the past three years, my mother has been referring to me as "stupid." I know I am not, but whenever I confront her about it, she says I am overly sensitive. I scored a 34 on my ACT, yet now she refers to me as a "congenital idiot." And whenever we speak about something, if I forget a fact or two, she says, "Your memory is shot!"
I don't want to yell at her because she has multiple sclerosis (which affects the brain). She takes over nine pills a day. It's getting to me, however, and I am starting to feel hopeless and insecure. I am totally frustrated. I love her dearly, and I pray every day for her love and acceptance. What is the problem with our relationship? Her Son
Dear Son: Anyone who scores a 34 on his ACT is obviously not a "congenital idiot." That's a terrific score. Congratulations.
You know that your mother's ability to respond to you appropriately is hampered by her medical condition. In fact, her unkind comments may be directed more at herself than at you. If possible, talk to your father about ways to handle the situation. You also can discuss it with your school counselor and family members who will be more understanding and may intervene on your behalf.
Dear Annie: The U.S. Department of State gave you wrong information on John Marshall. My husband is a direct descendant, and in 1776, John Marshall was a 22-year-old soldier in the Virginia military, too young to be one of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence. The Department of State was right, however, that the Liberty Bell cracked during the tolling of his funeral. Whitney K. Hardy
Dear Whitney Hardy: Thank you for correcting us, and the U.S. Department of State. Several readers pointed out that John Marshall, chief justice of the Supreme Court, was not a signer of the Declaration of Independence. Our thanks to all the history buffs who wrote.
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