AnnLanders.com - Dear Ann Landers: I am a 42-year-old man, married with two children.
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Mondays with Margo
Section: manners, relationships, marriage
 
 

Dear Margo,
We live in New York but spend six months every year at our Florida home. We've been in Florida for 14 years and have made many friends. Our daughter is getting married this coming New Year's Eve in NY. We have 8 couples from Florida we'd love to have attend, but we don't want to invite them as it may be an imposition, a tough travel time because of the holidays , and we don't need gifts. Could we put a note in with their invitations saying we would absolutely love them to attend, but we also understand the expense and hassle of travel during the holiday season? And add "We hope you know your presence is the present." Thank you. DonDB

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Section: family, relationships, manners
 
 

Dear Margo,
I received an invitation a few weeks ago to a wedding for a cousin on my Father's side that I met once and haven't seen in 7 years. His Mom is my deceased/divorced Father's sister, and last saw her 7 years ago. My father's brother was very mean to my mom when we were last all together 7 years ago. We do not talk since my parents divorced when I was 3, and my mom raised me all by herself. I am looking into going to the wedding but it will be a plane ride, hotel room finding sitters for 3 children and a dog . The expense will be a few thousand dollars for family that I am not close to, but I feel guilty that maybe I should go. What do you think. Should I just send a gift and a note? - Sandy

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Section: relationships, marriage, work, children
 
 

Dear Margo,
I need advice. My husband is a Family Physician. In 2014 he decided he wanted to open his own practice. I was hesitant, but still worked my butt off to make it happen, acting as the business manager. Well, it didn't go well and in May 2018 he had to get a second job at another clinic to pay off bills from the failed venture. We almost went bankrupt. Times got very hard and still are, but we at least kept the house. He now has an opportunity to take a job in Australia that pays more than here, offers furnished housing, and transportation. (Paid vacation. Too. He has never had a paid vacation in his career, as US docs just don't get paid if they don't work.) ? I want to go. We have three girls who would be able to experience a new country for two years, not to mention the many short plane rides to experience places such as Fiji, New Zealand, Bali, and Thailand. ?He says absolutely not. He still has a core patient base of about 200 patients from his private practice that he sees as a concierge-style doc, and says he cannot leave them. He won't even discuss this with me without blowing up. I'm pissed off, thinking he is putting those patients ahead of me, his children, his family. I am quite bitter thinking about what we went through for his failed business venture, and how he won't even consider this opportunity. We have been married 25 years.??Advice, please? Mrs. X

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Section: behavior, children, family, marriage
 
 

Dear Margo,
Our only son married a wonderful woman last year. We love her dearly, the problem is, she doesn't love us. In fact she seems barely able to tolerate us since the wedding. I've tried my best to find out if my husband or I did or said something to offend her, but that doesn't seem to be the case. She was never overly warm and friendly, but now is bordering on rude to us. They live about 2 hours away and come "home" for weekends fairly often. They spend a few hours with us, usually arriving after my husband has gone to bed. then spend the rest of the weekend with her family. The few hours they are there, she barely speaks and gives one or two word answers to questions. Days later, I'll find out that there was a whole story that she could have given as an answer! I'm finding it heartbreaking that we are hearing about their lives from friends instead of them. This was never a problem with our son in the past. What can we do to mend this? - Sad MIL

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Section: behavior, family, marriage
 
 

Dear Margo,
My wife is an attractive woman of 65 and I am 68. We have been married for 2 years. Prior to a road trip with her 23 year old nephew, my wife mentioned that she was online searching for hotel rooms. Please note...rooms. When my wife returned from the three day trip, she informed me that she and her nephew shared a room to save money. We have both been very blessed financially and are well above average means. I have had no previous jealousy issues. Sharing a room with a child who is a nephew is cute and fun, but I have concerns about sharing a room with an adult nephew. Help please. - apkinga

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Section: family, aging, relationships, sexuality
 
 

Dear Margo,
I am 65 years old and the eldest sibling of five. This is my problem: My younger brother, Bill (number 3) came out of the closets a gay man about ten years ago. This didn't surprise me, I had suspected it for quite a while. All my family want our father to know, and I am against it. Our father is 87, raised in a small town all his life, and would be devastated to learn that he has a gay son. Bill seems to be indifferent. When Bill does visit, he leaves his partner home, which is out of state, and the family acts as if everything is normal. Dad is happy and I want him to stay that way. We all love and support Bill, but I need some advice on how to handle this with my siblings. - Concerned son

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Section: abuse, mental-health, marriage, relationships, family
 
 

Dear Margo,
My husband and I are constantly fighting about how my family treats me. I do admit that I let them take advantage of me, but it doesn't bother me. He says he can't sit by and see them make a fool of me and "what type of man is he if he allows it?". He screams at me at the top of his lungs, with bulging eyes and red face. Sometimes I feel he might even hit me. He threatens that if I don't "cut them off", he will either leave me or hurt them. However, if I make plans to do something without him, he's offended and angry, saying that I don't respect how he feels. He will not allow me to do anything without him. He says that marriage is a commitment and I am not taking it seriously enough if I need other people in my life. I have already cut my brother out, now my husband is looking for my sister and my aunt. I get headaches and my heart feels like it is going to explode. He doesn't think anyone else should matter but us. I'm so worried that if I do what he demands (cutting off everyone), and if something happens to him, I will be all alone...too embarrassed to reach out and try to mend relationships that I did not want to end in the first place. Believe it or not, he is a psychologist, and doesn't feel he's wrong and won't compromise with me. I'm even afraid to accept invitations to family functions for fear that he will start an argument and insist on walking out and demanding that I leave with him or else. I really miss socializing with my family on a normal basis. Any advice? - Maybe a Doormat

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Section: babies, behavior, children, manners
 
 

Dear Margo,
There seems to be a new wrinkle in kids' birthday parties where the gifts are opened later. All my nieces are doing this now, and I must admit, children's parties are much more FUN. Fewer meltdowns, happier kids, what is there not to like? Two of my three nieces have children on the autism spectrum, and the intense emotions that go with gift opening made them adopt this technique early on. Plus, thank you cards are much easier to write, as they can be done one at a time, as the presents are opened. Really, why would you do a birthday for a small child any other way? - What about Presents?!

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"Keep in mind that the true measure of an individual is how he treats a person who can do him absolutely no good."
-Ann Landers