Dear Annie: His way or the highway
Dear Annie: My husband is controlling. Everything has to be his way. I’ve caught him in lies. We argue constantly. I get pretty tired of it, but I come right back to him every time. I’m trying to figure out what to do.
We’ve both had hard lives. I’ve heard some concerning things about how he treated his ex-wife. I’m a nice and sweet person. I just want to be treated right. I don’t like being yelled at or controlled. I used to work but now I can’t get a job because he doesn’t want me to get a job.
Also, he still constantly deals with his ex-girlfriend. She and I can’t stand each other. She’s been stalking him for seven years. I tried telling him to change his number and he won’t. I don’t know if he’s still talking to her; she calls him privately. I was wondering what to do. I think he still has feelings for her, because otherwise he’d have told her to stop “stalking” him, instead of just letting it continue. What do you think? — Stay or Go
Dear Stay or Go: If this marriage is to continue, you and your husband need to try a little tenderness — to aim for patience, kindness and trust. You’ve got too much of the opposite going now, and it leaves no room for love. A licensed marriage counselor could help you both out of this resentment rut and onto a sturdier foundation of trust and communication.
If counseling doesn’t yield results and you still feel controlled, stuck and deceived, then it’s time to go. Marriage should make you feel stronger, not weaker.
Dear Annie: Oh, how I needed the beautiful and uplifting poem, “The Optimist,” that reader Beryl submitted. My husband and I are in the winter of our lives, and he is facing a life-threatening illness. We are sad and fearful. But we have faith, family and friends. We truly have been blessed to have lived this long together and have cherished our lives. We try to call upon these blessings to banish the doom and gloom. And now I will call upon the wisdom of this poem to lift us up. — Thinking Positive in Louisville
Dear Thinking Positive: I’m so sorry that your husband is ill. I’m glad that Beryl’s poem touched you, as it seems to have touched many others. Read on.
Dear Annie: I am a 64-year-old mother. I lost my son, Jonathan, age 34, Christmas week of 2017, when his car was hit by a careless driver of a truck. My son left behind a wife and two children. My son was a good person, son and husband who spread his love, kindness and thoughtfulness to all he knew.
My intense grief has morphed into clinical depression. I still find joy in my family, especially my late son’s two children. But at times, I have had thoughts that my pain will only truly stop when I depart this life. I am seeing a grief counselor and am on antidepressants. I am on as good a path as possible given the circumstances.
I’m not writing to ask for any advice. I’m writing because Beryl’s poem touched my heart and soul. It made me think of all the things there are still here for me to see and experience even at my age. And to experience with my grandchildren.
Beryl, you don’t know how important it was that you sent your insightful poem into Annie’s column. Thank you! — Debra, Washington, Pennsylvania
Dear Debra: I am so, so sorry for the loss of your son. My heart goes out to you. Thank you for writing.
“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com.