Dear Annie: Two years ago, my son's fiancee recommended we rotate who hosts Christmas dinner. That year, she and my son went to her mom's house, and last year they were supposed to come to mine. Instead, they went to her mom's again and were upset that I didn't want to tag along.
Annie, at the time, my 73-year-old mother was in a rehab facility.
Dear Annie: Normally I'm good at minding my own business, but when I see how my granddaughter, "Susie," manipulates her mother (my daughter), I feel the urge to say something.
Dear Annie: My parents have been divorced for 30 years. Both made mistakes when they were married, but the end was due to my mom's drinking. Dad provided for me and now takes an active role in his grandchildren's lives, always making an effort to show up for their events.
Dear Annie: I was diagnosed with depression more than 20 years ago. When I was in high school, I was hospitalized for close to a year. Because money and insurance have been sporadic, I have been on and off of medication. Plus, once I get on a good medication, I start feeling that I don't need it anymore. Last year, my husband lost his job, so I have no insurance and have been off of medication since.
Dear Annie: My husband and I lived with a very dysfunctional situation for several years. His children from a prior marriage were encouraged by their mother to tell falsehoods about our home life. She was planning to leave the state and needed full custody in order to take them, and she ultimately accomplished this.
Dear Annie: I have been dating "Stan" for five years. We are both in our 60s. When we started dating, I was absolutely certain that I did not want to get married. But Stan and I have been through so much these past few years with various illnesses and the like. We have always stood by each other, and I have come to realize that I would like to be married to this man and have said so to him.
Dear Annie: My incredible husband of two years has a 4-year-old daughter with his ex-wife. I have actively helped raise "Christie" since she was barely a year.
Dear Annie: When my husband and I travel, we often spend a couple of days with friends or family. One night during our stay, we usually go out to dinner. There always seems to be a small verbal battle over who is going to pay the bill.
Dear Annie: My wife and I have a wonderful 3-year-old son. We have a great home and make good money, but life stinks.
Dear Annie: I was married to my husband for 31 years. Two years ago, he was killed in an accident. I loved him to the moon and back and miss him terribly.
Dear Annie: My cousin "Tyler," who had a host of problems as a teenager, became a policeman at age 23. He was a jerk before he joined up, but now he's become a bigger jerk.
Dear Annie: Recently, my husband mentioned that he wanted to get together with some friends for a project. I encouraged him to invite the guys to our home to work on it. I thought it would be a few hours, but it ended up taking well over 12. They arrived early in the morning and stayed until late that night, taking over our living room.
Dear Annie: When my older sister was dying a year ago, our entire family supported her with calls and visits with the exception of our father and half-brother (my mother's son from a previous marriage). They also didn't attend the funeral and offered no explanation for their absence.
Dear Annie: I am 17 years old, and I have a younger sister who is 13. Her attitude is awful. I have to drive her to school every day, and we always get into fights. She constantly criticizes my driving and puts me down. She also calls me a lot of names and says hurtful things. We even got into a physical fight.
Dear Annie: Christmas is just around the corner. Teachers appreciate the gifts from their students, but I know many teachers who spend their own money on classroom needs. Please suggest that students consider giving teachers a gift card to places that offer school supplies and also for coffee shops, microwave soups and other consumables.