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June 2012
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Man's relationship not worth saving

Dear Annie: I have been going out with "Susan" for seven months. The first few months were great, and we talked a lot. Now we do very little of anything. It seems that she is not interested.

Susan goes on vacations and doesn't ask me to go with her. When she is gone for a while, she'll phone and say she wishes she were home, but she doesn't actually return for quite some time. Then, when she does come back, she says nothing about her trip. If I ask how things went, she gets angry and starts an argument.

However, I've also noticed that she will say something to me, and if I question her, she tells me she never said such a thing and then asks me to leave. How do I save this relationship? - Troubled in Miami

Dear Troubled: Are you sure you want to? Susan is not particularly forthcoming. She becomes angry if you ask about her life or question something she has said, she prefers to vacation without you, and she no longer has much interest in spending time with you, even in conversation. We wouldn't be surprised to discover that she is hiding things from you, and we don't believe the relationship is going anywhere but straight out the door. You can do better.

Dear Annie: After my grandfather died four years ago, I invited my grandmother to move near me. Unfortunately, she had a stroke a few months after moving, and I took care of her until she died earlier this year.

While Grandma was here, two of her sons (my uncles) never called. One of them visited once, but that was only because his wife attended a conference in my town. I never said anything negative about them to my grandmother, even making up excuses when she'd ask why they didn't call or come by.

At her funeral, my uncles said hello to me, but then informed me that I was not invited to lunch with them. They said it was "only for the brothers and their wives." One uncle's wife and daughter didn't say a single word to me. I have no idea what their problem is.

Having taken care of their mother all these years, you'd think they would have shown a tiny bit of appreciation, but I saw only resentment. My mother (their sister) is no longer living, and there is nothing connecting me to my uncles anymore. I don't want to speak to either of them again. What do you think? - Confused in California

Dear Confused: The main reason relatives show resentment after a loved one dies is money. If Grandma left her money or prized possessions to you, this could be one cause. Another common reason is the possibility that your uncles feel guilty about the way they ignored Grandma when she was alive and resent you for doing what they did not. Maintaining contact is up to you, but please forgive them. If you can let it go, you can move forward in peace, knowing you did the right thing and are not responsible for the way your uncles behave.

Dear Annie: In a recent column, you recommended Overeaters Anonymous or Weight Watchers. I joined TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly). TOPS is a nonprofit organization. The yearly membership fee is $28, and each chapter sets its own weekly fee, usually between $2 and $5. In the past two years, I have lost 55 pounds, and my sister has lost 40.

I believe you would be doing your readers a service by recommending TOPS in addition to the other two programs. - Living Healthy Now

Dear Living: Happy to. Those interested can find a local chapter at www.tops.org.

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