Dear Annie: Seven years ago, I left my marriage of 22 years to be with someone I still absolutely adore. However, I now realize that as much as we love each other, he will never love my children, two grandchildren or family. He could care less if he ever sees them or, as a matter of fact, his own family. I also love his family and am very involved in keeping in contact with them.
We moved away from both of our families for his job. We are now almost 1,000 miles from them in a cold, dreary place. I miss my children and am becoming very depressed. I understood that after a couple of years we would be moving closer to home, but now that the two years are almost up, my husband says the company needs him here. I know for a fact that several managers have been able to move elsewhere. I really think he is more comfortable living away.
My husband is a good man, but living far away from everything that is dear to me is not the life I expected. I now believe it would have been better not to jump into another marriage. I think my ex and I would probably be growing closer because we’d be enjoying our grandbabies together. He gets to see a lot more of them now than I do. I miss them. What can I do? – More Alone Now Than Ever
Dear More Alone: You can arrange to visit your children and grandchildren as often as possible, and if your husband doesn’t wish to see them, he doesn’t have to accompany you. It’s too bad he isn’t more enthusiastic, but you don’t need his approval or permission to stay close to your family. It may never be as much contact as you’d like, but all choices have consequences, dear.
Dear Annie: Is it still proper to kiss a lady’s hand when she extends hers and you are meeting for the very first time? Or is this merely a European custom that is outdated in the United States?
If it is still permitted, how does one know when and where? Would it be proper to do so at a company Christmas party when meeting the CEO’s wife for the first time? – Malume
Dear Malume: This is a European custom. If you are European, it is charming for you to politely kiss a woman’s hand, even if you reside in the United States. If you are an American, however, it seems a bit pretentious and some women may object to the familiarity. When in doubt, a handshake is always correct and you won’t have to worry about offending anyone.