Dear Annie: My younger son, "Jake," has struggled with school from Day One and was placed in special education classes. After graduation, he stayed with us while attending a local college and now has a decent job. However, while under our roof, he got two DUIs and now has no driver's license.
We provided transportation so he could remain employed. My husband kept telling Jake to find somewhere else to live, but he never did. I finally went for counseling and was told to get my son out of the house and on his own. This therapist said Jake is not a self-starter and that I would have to give him a push, so I found him an apartment close to work. Everything seemed great until the landlord called wanting to evict him for not reporting a leaky toilet. We helped pay for a hefty water bill to give Jake another chance. Then he lost his job because he did not pass a random drug test.
Now it appears our son will have to move back in with us. My husband seems to think Jake will eventually grow up and quit pulling these stunts and is in total denial when I suggest counseling. Jake doesn't think he has a problem, either. How can I turn this situation around so my son will become more responsible? What good is counseling if the others on the team are not with me? C.M.
Dear C.M.: Tell your husband, lovingly, that you know he wants Jake to be responsible and independent, but his ability to grow up is hampered by his parents' constant rescue efforts. Tell him family counseling should be a condition for allowing Jake to move back home and you would appreciate it if he backed you on this for your son's sake. If he still refuses, please continue counseling on your own. At least one member of the team ought to have some tools for handling the situation.
Dear Annie: My husband has suddenly become extremely jealous. For the past six months, he has been accusing me of having an affair with his best friend of 40 years. Nothing I say alleviates his fears, and he takes any casual comment or innocent action as confirmation that I have strayed. The constant accusations and late-night discussions have left me so emotionally exhausted that I have left the house.
His friend knows nothing of this, and my husband has cut him off, leaving him and his wife bewildered. My husband has also insisted I not contact either of them, but they are my good friends, too. How can I get my husband to stop this? We are seeing a counselor, but there has been no change. I don't want a divorce, but I can't go on living with him like this, either. True Blue
Dear True Blue: Irrational and unfounded accusations of cheating usually are caused by one of two problems: Either your husband is guilt-ridden over his own indiscretions, or he has a medical problem and needs to be evaluated by a physician. If he's willing to see a counselor, he should be willing to see his doctor. Inform the doctor about the problem beforehand and ask for help.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Bummed Out in Minnesota," who was concerned that she wouldn't be able to attend her sister's wedding because it was going to be a destination affair at a "trendy resort atop Pikes Peak." If it will make her feel any better, there is no trendy resort there. We have been to Pikes Peak several times, and the only thing at the top is a visitors center. Kentuckian Who Loves to TravelDear Kentuckian: Often, a writer will disguise the name of a place or change other details in order to preserve anonymity. (We often change such details, too, to protect the writer.) But thanks for making sure our readers don't try to make reservations at a place that doesn't exist.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie's Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. © Creators Syndicate Inc.