Friday, July 25, 2014

Hey, at least she’s not on drugs


From page A6 | May 18, 2014 |

Dear Annie: I have been married to my wife for 20 years, but only three were truly happy. My wife is older and had been married before. She came to the relationship with a 3-year-old child. We then had a daughter together.

Not long after we married, I learned that my wife is a clutter bug and refuses to do housework. She always has an excuse. Usually, she’s “too tired” or says, “I’m just not good at cleaning.” For years, I’ve done all of the housekeeping and laundry and most of the cooking. I also had a full-time job while she would periodically be unemployed. I had to work overtime hours and get a second job to make ends meet. She once went an entire year without working, yet would not lift a finger to help around the house.

Needless to say, I’ve built up a lot of resentment toward her and have lost any feeling of intimacy. We live like roommates. I have stuck it out for my teenage daughter’s sake, but due to my wife’s terrible example, my daughter is now exhibiting traits similar to her mother’s.

I’ve tried to talk to my wife about this, but she accuses me of being an ungrateful taskmaster, expecting her to do more, and it turns into a major fight. I don’t think I can take it any longer. I want someone I can love. Am I wrong to want out? Should I suck it up and be grateful she isn’t a drug addict or an alcoholic? Do I stay until my daughter is out of the house? Please help me out.

— Trouble in Paradise

Dear Trouble: The bar must be set pretty low in your house for you to believe that a marriage is good enough because your spouse isn’t an addict. Your resentment has festered too long. Please talk to a counselor, alone or with your wife, and see whether anything can be changed. Also discuss with the counselor alternatives to your current situation (separation, divorce, resignation, patience) to help you figure out your best next step.


Dear Annie: Our office recently hired a man with terrible halitosis. Several of us have been tasked with training him, but his breath is so horrendous that it’s hard to stand near him.

It’s bad enough that this man is a smoker, but his breath reeks from more than that. It appears as though he never brushes his teeth. He certainly doesn’t rinse with mouthwash. He seems like a decent fellow, and I don’t want to embarrass him, but is there something we can do? Should I anonymously leave breath mints on his desk?

— Co-Worker in Binghamton, N.Y.

Dear Co-Worker: Halitosis can come from a variety of sources, including gastrointestinal issues. Basic dental hygiene not only helps with bad breath, but it also can protect you from gum disease and heart disease. You could ask management or your human resources department to handle this. Otherwise, we hope one of you has the courage to take this man aside privately and sympathetically inform him that he should see his dentist or doctor about his breath because there could be a medical reason behind it. The temporary embarrassment will be worth it.


Dear Annie: I would like to add a comment about the letter from “Getting Organized for Retirement.” Local historical societies are interested in old photographs and memorabilia from the past for their respective towns and cities.

If you are thinking of throwing out old family photos, find out whether your area historical society would like to have them. They also cherish any memories that could accompany the photographs. They are in the business of passing the past onto the next generations. Your thoughtfulness could make a world of difference to the community, if not to your own grandchildren.

— Leslie, Bristol Historical Society


Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to, 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

— Creators Syndicate Inc.

Creators Syndicate


Discussion | 1 comment

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  • Elizabeth PruettMay 18, 2014 - 12:11 pm

    The comment about the man with the wife that's not pulling her weight..I understand we have family member with a wife like that.and she keeps popping out the baby's too..but if you have older child believe me if your not happy distance yourself further till she steps it up..your too easy on her .That's why she is getting away with it..I really mean that .It's not to late..just say your not hungry after you cook her somthin..let the laundry pile up..just do some of need to be lazy for a while to show her..let things pile up.say that's it say I'm done with doing everything..!!.

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