AnnLanders.com - Dear Ann Lander: What is the proper amount of time to stay at a come & go party?
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Mondays with Margo

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Section: addictions, family, manners, children, relationships
 
 

Dear Margo,
My ex-girlfriend, who lived with my son and me for 16 years, died of cancer. Before we knew she had cancer, she moved out because of an addiction problem. We did stay quite close before she died. Her ex-husband, an attorney, took over her finances and the burial arrangements. I, being financially set, was okay with that. What really hurt my son and me the most was the obituary; we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son, who really loved her. Her ex-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary. My girlfriend barely knew them. I know it's silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation. It's not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice. - Jake

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Section: children, babies, health-and-wellness, mental-health, relationships
 
 

Dear Margo,
I have a son. He and his girlfriend are very close to my ex-husband and his wife. They actually babysit my son's 2-yr-old, because they're both on Social Security. My issue is this: my son's girlfriend has treated me like I've done something awful to my son and my name isn't allowed to be said in his father's house. I adore my grandson, but hardly ever get to see him.

It's like this: my son says he loves me as his mother, but on his Facebook page, guess who he has listed as mother? Yup, the stepmother. I'm glad that she cares for my son like this, but I am his mother. I get no credit for things that I did for him while growing up. My big mistake was thinking I should let my son spend more time with his dad, because I thought that would benefit him. My fault. So now I am paying for it. My question is this: Do I take a chance and confront either the stepmom or the dad? I've been divorced from his father for over 20 years. Can he still possibly hate me so much that he wants to ruin my relationship with my son and his family? I feel eventually they will ruin my relationship with my grandson also. So is it shut up and wait, or step up and lose? I've never talked to my son negatively about his dad. Not sure that worked both ways, obviously. Please help me to understand my own feelings, as I'm getting desperate for my right as a grandparent. - Sad

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Section: children, manners, relationships
 
 

Dear Margo,
The father of my best friend from the 80s and 90s has just died. I was told by his wife about twenty years ago that they did not want to be friends any longer so I have not spoken with him, or her, for twenty years. I guess I could have contacted my friend behind his wife's back, but I didn't, and he has never made an effort to contact me. I would like to send him my condolences and to tell him I know how he feels, as I recently lost my own fatheras well. Should I just let it go or should I contact him to offer my sympathy? - Gary

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Section: behavior, children, health-and-wellness, sexuality
 
 

Dear Margo,
My little brother (almost 13) hasn't had "the talk" yet and is extremely modest. When it comes to changing his shirt and pants, he won't let anyone else (not even our grandfather) into the room with him. He really needs the talk but none of us knows how to go about it, although we've joked about tying him to a chair. What do we do?? - Kristen

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Section: behavior, children, relationships, marriage
 
 

Dear Margo,
Every time we go to visit my mother-in-law's house she complains about how much groceries for my family of 6 costs. She rations out the food and I get yelled it if I eat too much. I am afraid to eat anything in her house and am often hungry. The frustrating part is she is really not struggling for money. They recently retired, but they also just bought an expensive second home by the ocean, travel all over the world, buy expensive things, gets way more retirement money every month than we earn, and they also inherited a lot of money. We are a family that struggles every month to put food on our table. It frustrates me when she complains, and I think it is rude. We recently started bringing food with us, yet she still complains about money. I feel like I am going to lose it. How do I handle this tactfully and at the same time get her to stop complaining? - Money matters

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Section: behavior, aging, manners
 
 

Dear Margo,
It really upsets me to see all of the memorials of flowers and candles left when someone dies, or there is a shooting, or a car accident. Why can't people donate to a worthy cause in their names, even if it's a small amount? An perfect example, if from years past: Princess Diana's death. There were TONS of flowers! This would have been lots of money donated in her name to her favorite charities. Just a thought. - Mary

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"Nobody ever drowned in his own sweat."
-Ann Landers