Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We have no children.
My biggest problem is his weight. He has put on a lot of poundage in the past several years and is definitely not the guy I married. I don't claim to be a princess, but I stay pretty fit. I am not attracted to him sexually because of his rolls of fat. I am saddened.
We love each other dearly, but my husband refuses to take walks with me and will not help around the house. I know I should love him with my heart, so how do I get around this problem? - California Dreamin'
Dear California: You cannot force your husband to do anything about his weight. He must want to do it for himself. Tell him you are worried about his health. Ask him to talk to his doctor about his weight (or leave a message for the doctor with your concerns). Explain that his unwillingness to help around the house or work on his weight is undermining your respect for him. Beyond that, please be patient. Try to love him as he is, for all of the other qualities he brings to the marriage and for the things that attracted you to him in the first place.
Dear Annie: My fiance and I are getting married in a few months. This will be the second marriage for both of us. We have decided to have a small private ceremony for our immediate family, with an open house for other family and friends.
We are sending out invitations for our open house, but I am unsure whether I should register for gifts. What do you think would be the best way to handle this? Gifts are nice, but not necessary. - Bride-to-Be
Dear Bride: People will want to buy you a wedding present, and a registry helps them know what you want. It's perfectly OK to register. However, it is not appropriate to put this information in the invitation. If someone should ask, you may tell them where you are registered.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Jaded and Voting with Our Wallets," who is upset that people who have never invited her over for a cup of coffee have the nerve to send her an invitation to their child's graduation or wedding.
I have the same problem, but with my children. I'm always invited to all kinds of parties and showers, but never to the homes of my three children for a meal of any kind.
My son and daughter-in-law lived with me for a year and were not too happy to leave, because I did all the cooking, cleaning and laundry. I finally asked them to find their own place, but they still showed up every weekend to be fed. When they found a house to buy, they had to borrow money from me, even though I hadn't done that for my other children. I insisted they repay it monthly, which they did, but I never heard the end of it from his resentful siblings.
I have always loved to cook and entertain, and over the years, I've had many parties for my extended family. But other than invitations where a gift is required, they have never reciprocated.
I never hear from any of them now, and parties go on without me. I have a great-granddaughter who is 2 years old, and I've never met her. I'm 76, waiting for two knee replacements and don't have the money or energy to entertain. At first, I cried not to see my family. I now spend time with people who enjoy being with me and try not to think about how ungrateful and distant my children are. Needless to say, there will be no inheritance when I die. - Used, but Got Over It
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.