Arrow-right Camera

Arts & Entertainment

Annie’s Mailbox: You can tell them you’re ‘undivorced’

TUESDAY, NOV. 2, 2010

Dear Annie: After 20 years of marriage, my wife and I separated 10 months ago. It was her idea. Although she doesn’t seem to want a reconciliation, we also aren’t headed for divorce due to medical insurance coverage and other reasons.

I don’t know how to refer to myself when it comes up in conversation. I’m not divorced. I’m not single. The word “estranged” seems, well, strange.

What exactly do I call a wife who isn’t living with me anymore? – Confused in California

Dear Confused: This is not an uncommon arrangement these days, and some people call it “undivorced.” Technically, you are separated from your wife, and for all but the rudest people, that should be sufficient explanation. If any of our readers have a better word to describe the situation, let us know.

Dear Annie: I am writing about “Worried in Arizona,” the 13-year-old girl who thinks she may have breast cancer.

In March of last year, my daughter called and told me that my 10-year-old granddaughter, Hannah, had been acting odd all evening. She said her breast had been itching all day and it was bothering her. My daughter did a little exam and felt a large lump. When asked how long it had been there, Hannah said about a month.

So the tests began, and the surgeries. The cancer had spread to her lymph nodes. After a mastectomy and chemo, she is doing well.

Breast cancer is not just for adults anymore. Children have to learn to tell their parents when something is wrong, and parents need to listen. If our family can help one person, it will be worth it. – Beth

Dear Beth: Please know your letter may have saved a life today. Bless you.

Please e-mail your questions to

Click here to comment on this story »