Dear Annie: Six months ago, I married a lovely young woman. While we were engaged, "Nina" and I had several candid discussions about finances, figuring that once we married, she would look for a job and we would split the household expenses evenly. Her parents were very generous and gave us a nice amount of money at the wedding in order to help smooth the transition until she found a job.
Dear Annie: We are three daughters who need help. Our parents' home seems unhappy and full of bitterness. Mom and Dad have been married for 59 years, but Mom doesn't seem to enjoy life. Dad is not perfect, but we really don't know their past personal stories and relationship. They seem to have led separate lives: Mom at home with six kids to raise, and Dad working long hours at his business.
Dear Annie: I am a single mother in my mid-30s and recently graduated from college. Because of the current job market, I am having difficulty finding a permanent full-time position in my field. I will most likely need to relocate to another state.
Dear Annie: Years ago, my brother, "Harry," cheated on his wife. She forgave him, and they got back together. They seem very happy.
Dear Annie: I am a single mother of six children, the youngest of whom is 12. I divorced their father 10 years ago. I am the custodial parent and receive child support. I don't have any issues with my ex's financial responsibilities. It is visitation that is the problem.
Dear Annie: I left a relationship of six years when my boyfriend became physically and emotionally abusive. We have two children together.
Dear Annie: I've been a stepmother to two lovely girls, now 12 and 17, since they were very young. My husband gladly pays child support on time without fail. The girls have different mothers who raise their children in opposite ways, yet in both cases, it's rare that the child support actually reaches the child.
Dear Annie: Please help me. My husband, whom I love very much, is addicted to pain pills. It's been more than a year. He says he takes them to maintain his energy levels for his long 12-hour days, but, Annie, he still takes the pills on his days off. When he tries to stop, he goes through withdrawal symptoms.
Dear Annie: I am an 18-year-old guy, and my parents are splitting up. I don't know the full story, but things are getting somewhat awkward around the house. We try to live normally, but the silence hurts. I'm trying to deal with it and put up a good front until graduation, but it's hard.
Dear Annie: We have two children and a 13-year-old grandson. Two years ago, our 48-year-old unmarried son very reluctantly told us that he has been diagnosed with gender identity disorder and considers himself to be female. This came as a complete surprise, but we decided to support her wholeheartedly, and we find her to be much happier than before.
Dear Annie: I am getting married in May. My fiancé, "Stan," didn't like his last job, so my brother hired him. Stan has been working there for a year.
Dear Annie: I am a bartender and waitress at a small local restaurant. We recently worked a big party that included drinks and a three-course meal. When it came time to pay, the customer left us a fairly large tip.
Dear Annie: My pregnant granddaughter smokes. She has switched to electronic cigarettes, telling her husband that these are completely safe and will not affect the baby in any way. She also claims there is no danger of secondhand smoke.
Dear Annie: Four months ago, I joined a nonprofit that provides free tutoring and homework help to elementary-school kids. When I started, the kids coming into our center were from low-income minority and immigrant families. These were kids who would be home alone all afternoon if they didn't come to us.
Dear Annie: I have been married to "Horace" for less than a year. This is his second marriage. His prior marriage was to his high school girlfriend, and they have two children together.
Dear Annie: One of my sisters has a lovely cat, but when we go somewhere with her, the kitty litter odor is overwhelming. It clings to her clothing and follows her everywhere. My sister is highly sensitive to criticism, so we haven't approached her about this. She probably doesn't notice the smell because she lives with the odor every day.
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