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ANNIE’S MAILBOX: Nosy relative seems envious

Monday, June 6, 2011

By Kathy Mitchell

and Marcy Sugar

Dear Annie: I have lived across the street from my husband’s sister for 20 years. She is super-competitive and nosy. She knows our every move — when we are home, who is visiting, etc. When she sees a car in our driveway, she will come over with some lame excuse to see who is visiting. If I buy a piece of furniture or paint a room, she comes over to spy on my decorating.

My husband copes with it. I am on edge all the time. I’ve decided the next time she runs over to snoop, I will tell her how nosy she is and how sick and tired I am of it. Would that be wrong?

Fed Up

Dear Fed Up: So your insecure sister-in-law admires your decorating and is so lonely that she spends her time envying your visitors. We feel sorry for her. And after 20 years, you’d cope much better with this intrusive woman if you could find it in your heart to feel sorry for her, too. We know she is difficult, but she’s family. Invite her for coffee once in a while.

Dear Annie: This is for “Concerned Wife,” whose husband was diagnosed with diabetes. Six years ago, that was me. I believed I couldn’t control what my husband ate, and then realized I did the cooking and shopping. When my husband went to the doctor, I went along and asked to see a dietitian. I went to diabetes classes.

My children were also at risk because diabetes runs in the family. We began with small, healthy changes. I quit buying soda. I cut back on the carbs and cooked more protein and vegetables. I cooked more from scratch. It worked.

I never once blamed the diabetes. Over time, we all began making better food choices. I began walking and invited my husband to come. We talked about our day, the kids, our dreams. It turned into a ritual.

Tell “Concerned” not to make this “his” problem, but to create a team spirit. Be positive about changes. The whole family will benefit.

Been There

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