Saturday, October 23, 2010
By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar
Dear Annie: About 10 years ago, my brother, “Sam,” stopped speaking to me. The reason was that he set me up with his best friend when I was 18, but after two years together, I realized it wasn’t going anywhere and broke it off. Sam went ballistic on me. I hurt his best friend, and he could never trust me again.
Four years ago, Sam informed me via certified letter that he was getting married and if I set one foot inside the church, he would call the police. I sent him a gift, and it took eight months before I received a thank-you note from his wife, a woman I’ve never met.
Last month, I sent my brother an e-mail asking if we could let the past rest because I was getting married and wanted him there. I got the most awful response. He said the world would be a better place if I just stopped living, that nobody loved me and that I was a vile human being. He even went to my fianc ’s office to tell him how awful I am. My fianc laughed it off.
My parents keep saying Sam will come around, but after 10 years, I doubt it. To top it off, my parents are so worried about upsetting Sam (they are afraid he’ll keep them from seeing the grandchildren) that they are not planning to attend my wedding, either. Why can’t my brother get past this?
Dear Midwest: Sam sounds mentally ill. His reaction to your breakup with his best friend was completely irrational, and the fact that it has lasted 10 years is a grudge out of all proportion. It’s a shame your parents feel blackmailed into appeasing him. You cannot make this better on your own. We hope you have wonderful in-laws who will fill the void.
Dear Annie: I have been married to “Joe” for two years. We were both widowed for years before that. Joe sold his house and moved into mine. I have tried to make him feel that this is his home, too, but I get very little financial help from him.
Joe has been unemployed for a year, but even when he was working, the most he contributed each month was $400. I found out that he is still giving money to his unemployed 32-year-old daughter. He has also put her name on everything, so she’ll inherits all he owns.
Did I mention that there is no sex because Joe says his blood-pressure medication prevents it? After re-reading this letter, I guess I don’t need your advice. I am filing for divorce.
Older and Wiser
Dear Older: Glad we could help clarify your thoughts.
Dear Annie: I laughed at the letter from “Alone in Casper,” who boasts that he is a gourmet cook, cleans the bathroom and plans to stay put in his “conservative community,” and then disses women his own age for their interest in crafts and their families. He’s been divorced twice and prides himself on not “lowering his standards.” I’m willing to bet this gasbag is a fussy, territorial neat-freak who would make Felix Unger look like a hobo.
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