Dear Annie: My sweet, kind 33-year-old college-educated husband has regressed into a teenager. He has always been a marijuana user, but a year ago, he befriended “Jake,” and now the two of them smoke marijuana daily. They spend their evenings riding skateboards, playing video games and hanging out with college kids.
I would like to buy a house, have children and further my education. My husband says he wants the same things, but he always has an excuse for not saving money. We both have good jobs, and he promises to start putting money aside “next month.” It never happens. I know he won’t give up pot. He says he will get divorced before he quits smoking marijuana, and I knew that before we married.
Am I wrong to put my foot down and expect him to grow up? Or do I need to lighten up and let him have his fun?
— Feeling Like My Husband’s Mother
Dear Feeling: You and your husband do not have compatible goals. He wants to be an irresponsible child while you do all the work. And so far, you have gone along with that. Maybe he’s afraid to grow up, maybe he’s too addicted to pot, maybe he’s simply a Peter Pan.
Ask him to come with you for counseling so the two of you can work on a more equitable partnership. If he is unwilling or if nothing changes, there is no future here unless you want to spend the next several years mothering this grownup child. It’s a painful lesson to learn that love isn’t always enough to turn someone into marriage material.
Dear Annie: My friend’s son married a lovely young woman whose only brother died a few years ago. The wife kept her maiden name after marriage for professional reasons.
The couple is expecting their first child, and the wife would like to name the boy after her deceased brother, giving him her last name. Her reasoning is that it would ensure that her family name is carried on. Her husband has male cousins who can carry on the family name, but she doesn’t.
My friend is in shock. If her son agrees to this irrational request, she believes her family name stops there. In her mind, cousins do not count in carrying on one’s lineage. However, she doesn’t want to cause a family rift by openly and strongly opposing this possibility. Do you have any suggestions for her?
— Friend of the Family
Dear Friend: This is completely up to the couple, and your friend should try to stay out of it. Frankly, the wife has the stronger claim for carrying on a family name. It’s also possible that the couple will have other sons. And plenty of women object to the old-fashioned (and sexist) notion that only the boys count when it comes to lineage. We know your friend is hurt and disappointed, but if she wants a relationship with her son, his wife and their child, she needs to put this aside.
Dear Annie: I shared the same frustration as “Troubled in High School,” the 16-year-old girl who can only think about boys, drugs, alcohol, dating and grades. She wants her life to be exciting.
I’d like to suggest she try participating in her school’s community service club. I was a member of my school’s “Key Club,” which is sponsored by the Kiwanis organization. It gave me the opportunity to focus on things outside of myself and my desires as a teenager and allowed me to put my energy into doing good.
My friends who did drugs respected me enough to never offer me drugs. I hated that my parents were so strict, but now that I’m almost 30, I can appreciate that they molded me into an independent person who is confident in leading instead of following. There is nothing wrong with being a perfect little angel. I’m proud of that reputation.
— Happy in Hawaii
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to email@example.com, 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.
— Creators Syndicate Inc.