She's afraid credit-card debt will be the last straw

Dear Annie: I have been married over 30 years, but I am a terrible person. I have done some really awful things, like lying to my husband about bills, credit cards, etc. I have gotten us in debt -- over $9,000. I actually hate myself.
My husband is a wonderful man and has forgiven me for past things, but I am so afraid he will never forgive me for these bills. I am constantly nervous and sick to my stomach. I don't want to answer the phone because of bill collectors.
I called a debt-relief line, and they are helping me get out of this hole. I want to confide in my husband, but I am scared this could be the last straw for him. Please tell me what to do so I can breathe again and feel calm. Sleepless and Nervous
Dear Sleepless: Keeping such secrets doesn't allow for peaceful dreams. You're going to have to tell your husband the truth and beg for forgiveness. It will help that you have sought professional assistance, and perhaps one of the counselors from the debt-relief line would be willing to speak to him. You also should tell your husband that you will contact Debtors Anonymous ( at P.O. Box 920888, Needham, MA 02492-0009. We hope he will stand by you during your struggle to control your compulsive spending.
Dear Annie: My mother, a senior citizen, is constantly complaining about people who "stick their noses where they don't belong." She says it's rude and insensitive. I agree.
The problem is, my mother is the queen of sticking your nose where it doesn't belong. If there were an Olympics for this, she'd win the gold medal. Clearly she does not see this in herself. When I point it out to her, she becomes defensive, so I back off. I have even suggested that she take up a hobby or volunteer, because I think the problem may simply be that she has too much time on her hands.
I wouldn't mind so much if she recognized her nosiness and admitted she has a problem, but there is no hope of that happening. Now I just put up with it, but on the inside it really bothers me -- especially because I am one of the targets of her "nose." Any ideas? Fed Up
Dear Fed Up: If telling your mother she is nosy does not have the desired effect, your best bet is to ignore or deflect those "buttinsky" comments. To do this, you smile politely and change the subject. Do it as often as you need to, and she will either get the hint or give up.
Dear Annie: I read the rant from "Keeping It Low-Cal in So-Cal" who said doctors should tell their overweight patients to get off the couch and stop eating. You are right that "Low-Cal" has obviously never had a weight problem.
I have struggled my entire life to keep from gaining weight and continually fail. I now try to accept myself as I am, but I'm reminded every day that others consider me ugly -- the men who gaze at my girlfriends as if I'm invisible, the people who smile because they feel sorry for me, and then a writer like "Low-Cal" beating me up. Yesterday, I was denied health insurance because of my weight. Being fat makes me unworthy of medical help.
I am so tired of this. I cry every morning as I try to get through another day. I used to enjoy life, but now, not so much. I make no excuses. I remind myself not to give up, to keep walking every day, to watch what I eat and try not to get myself down. I wish people would look at me on the inside because that is where the treasure lies. Keeping Up the Struggle
Dear Keeping Up: You are absolutely right, but it sounds as if you could use some emotional help. If you haven't tried counseling, please consider it.
Creators Syndicate
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