Reader is concerned about friend's fianc &amp; eacute;e
Dear Annie: My best friend, "Michael," was married for seven years, and his divorce was finalized last February. Michael and I did everything together. We were "connected at the hip."
Now Michael has met someone online. Since meeting this girl at the end of August, I had not heard, seen, e-mailed or talked to him. Yesterday, he called to tell me he is getting married. We talked awhile and he told me all about his girlfriend.
Michael wants me to meet her, but I can't. I have already formed an opinion of her, and it's not favorable. I think Michael is desperate and doesn't want to be alone, and she is looking for a father for her 5-year-old son.
Should I tell Michael my thoughts on the situation because I care about him? Or should I let him marry this woman and stand up for him at his wedding? M.
Dear M.: Swallow your misgivings and be a good friend. It's unfair to make a judgment about someone you have never met. And if you are completely honest, you'll admit you are a bit jealous that Michael has found someone who so occupies his time and thoughts. We suggest you get together with Michael and his fianc & eacute;e so you can see for yourself why he wants to marry her. And try to keep an open mind. By rejecting her, you also are rejecting Michael. If you still don't care for her, try to respect his choice, even if you don't agree. If things don't work out, at least you'll be around to offer a shoulder to cry on.
Dear Annie: Five years ago, my mom and her husband moved 500 miles away. It is now becoming apparent that she doesn't want me or my husband to visit. I have been to her new house three times. The last time I planned a visit, she told me I should stay in a hotel.
It occurred to me that I had invited myself, so I canceled the trip and apologized, and told her I would wait to be invited. No invitation has come. In the meantime, my sister has been to visit many times, with and without her husband. I recently found out they will be visiting Mom for the holidays. That really hurts.
My mother knows she and her husband are always welcome in my home. The last time they were in this area, they stayed one night with me and three at my sister's. I know Mom isn't crazy about my husband, but still.
I feel very sad about this situation. It was hard for me when she moved, and now I feel like time is getting away. Should I say something to her? California
Dear California: Yes, but do it lovingly. Tell your mother you miss her and would like to see her more often. Ask what you can do to make that happen. It's very likely Mom is simply more comfortable at your sister's, and she also may believe your husband doesn't want her around. It won't hurt to clear the air a bit and find out if there is a way to ease the strain.
Dear Annie: I am all too familiar with the situation of "Stressed-Out Parents." My son is 33 and has been on drugs since age 15. I've gotten him in rehab eight times, but he is still using. I have been attending Al-Anon and Nar-Anon meetings for six years, and as much as I resented going at first, I love my son more.
I've learned you have an extended family when you go to meetings, and that addicts will get help only when they are ready.
Tell those parents not to let their daughter control and consume their lives.
It will turn into a living hell. They should go to meetings and learn to live a happy retirement by not enabling her.
She is a grown-up. Let her make her own mistakes. It might be the only way she will ever want to get help. Been There and Done That in Florida
Dear Florida: We know letting your child sink or swim on her own is not easy, but many parents have written to say it is the only way to get through it.
E-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie's Mailbox™, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.
Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.