Dear Annie: I am a divorced father of two teenagers. Their mother and I have maintained a good relationship when it comes to raising the children.
However, an issue has now come up. Since my divorce, I have enjoyed international travel to the Caribbean. My children have seen many pictures and heard my stories and are very interested in traveling with me. I now think they are old enough to enjoy it. Their mother, however, is afraid to fly and has not been willing to sign the paperwork required to get passports for the kids. We have had discussions about this over the years without success.
I think this would be a wonderful experience for my children, and I’d like to take them with me to the tropical climate. In our last discussion, my ex said I could take them anywhere I wanted within the U.S., but she wasn’t comfortable having them outside of the country if something were to happen. I offered to pay for her passport so she would have it in case she needed to see them, but she has made no effort to follow through. What do you think?
— Kidless in the Caribbean
Dear Kidless: Your wife is afraid to fly and is also afraid that something will happen to the children. This is slightly irrational, which means it will be difficult to convince her that the kids will be safe. You can ask her to accompany you on this trip, you can recommend that she work on her fears with a therapist, or you can simply wait until the kids are a little older. Sometimes life demands patience.
Dear Annie: I’d like to get a point across to someone, and it is important that I remain anonymous. Here goes:
Money versus a relationship: Granted, money is important and should be respected. Striving to earn enough to buy a home, put food on the table, drive a decent car, pay the bills and have some savings is necessary. It provides us with security and stability.
That being said, there are many things that money cannot do. Money doesn’t ask “How are you feeling?” Money doesn’t tell you it has been thinking about you. Money doesn’t spend a romantic evening with a candlelit dinner and intimate conversation.
Money doesn’t take the time to listen to you or greet you at the door. Money doesn’t hold your hand or give you a luscious kiss goodnight. You can’t give money a phone call and say, “I’d really like to see you tonight.”
You decide: money or relationship? Or don’t you want someone to care about you?
Dear Anonymous: If your Significant Other is focused on money to the detriment of the relationship, it’s unlikely to change appreciably. And if you insist on remaining anonymous, your point may not get across. Please speak up and settle this before you commit to something that will make both of you unhappy.
Dear Annie: I hope you have room for one more reply to “Your Husband.” It is true, our relationship is based on love. You say the only thing missing from our relationship is sex. This is not the only thing missing. Over the years, I have done all I can to support your needs, even during intimacy. You would get what you needed, but if I dared to ask for what I needed, you would get angry. When I tried to talk to you about it, you never had time. We sought counseling, but you said I was “crazy” and quit going.
A year ago, my doctor found that I had an STD. In order to protect myself, I stopped having sex with you. I have given most of my life to being there for you, and you say I haven’t done enough. Going outside of our marriage is just another betrayal by someone who doesn’t consider me worth the effort.
— Your Wife
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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