Dear Annie: I always felt that my mother and I were inseparable. I never thought I would be blessed to marry a wonderful man and that it would damage our relationship, but it did.
My mom has had a great influence on my life for 32 years, but this had to end. She only developed a problem with my then-boyfriend when she saw that it was serious. She tried everything to break us up, including having him investigated. She told me he was “no good.” I chose to pray and follow my heart and not listen to her. I’m happy I did. I couldn’t ask for a better husband.
Mom did not come to my wedding and refuses to come to my house, saying I chose a man over her. But, Annie, I cannot allow her to continue to be so disrespectful of my husband. Please tell your readers that trying to control your children will only push them away and create resentment. My mom centered her life around me and now feels lost.
I’m still struggling to adjust to not having her in my life, but I refuse to leave my husband to make her happy. I have made great choices. I completed graduate school and have a terrific career. Many mothers would love to have a daughter and son-in-law like us. Is there anything I can do?
— Missing My Mother but Loving My Husband
Dear Missing: Your mother’s jealousy has clouded her thinking, and instead of a close, warm relationship with you, your husband and your future children, she has isolated herself in bitterness. We hope you will give her the opportunity to get past this, although it may take time and a good deal of forgiveness on your part. Continue to periodically reach out to her, inviting her to your home with the understanding that she must treat your husband with decency. Over time, we suspect she will miss you enough to make the effort.
Dear Annie: I live in a rural residential area that gets a lot of snow. Is there any tactful way to word an invitation to an open house that asks guests not to wear street shoes in the house?
The last time we had a party, only one person was considerate enough to remove dirty shoes. We love to entertain friends, but really don’t care for the snow, sand and salt from the road tracked all over our hardwood floors and oriental rugs.
— Suggestions Appreciated
Dear Suggestions: It is perfectly OK to ask your guests to remove their shoes at the door, especially if you provide comfy little slippers for them to wear. You also should place doormats both inside and outside your front door so guests can wipe their feet. However, if someone refuses to take off his or her shoes, please welcome them into your home regardless. Hardwood floors can be cleaned, and oriental rugs can be rolled up and put aside.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “Midwest Cook,” who can’t believe that children are truly picky eaters. She says the fault lies with permissive parents.
My husband and I followed a similar tactic for years with our four children. They either ate what we cooked, or they went without. The result was often bitter frustration for everyone involved, as well as utter shock on the part of those not familiar with our methods.
In spite of that, two of our now-adult children are still genuinely picky eaters. Please don’t assume parents aren’t doing their jobs.
— Frustrated Cook
Dear Frustrated: You are right that some kids never outgrow their aversion to certain foods, but we hope parents will encourage more adventurous eating habits.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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