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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Plan casual dinner, include her, watch him

Kathy Mitchell Marcy Sugar Creators Syndicate

Dear Annie: My husband, “Jack,” and I have been together for 11 years and married for one. When we first met, he was dating “Sofi.” He broke off the relationship with her when he met me. The breakup was extremely difficult for Sofi, and she had trouble letting go.

Recently, Jack’s job has brought the two of them back into contact. This job is a really good opportunity for Jack, but I’m afraid Sofi still hasn’t gotten over him. She calls constantly on his cell phone and finds ways to work late nights with him. She has a relatively good position in the company, and her opinion of him counts.

A week ago, at the last minute, Jack’s boss invited him for a four-day outing at his lake cabin to discuss his future with the company. I didn’t mind the command performance, but I did not care for the fact that Sofi also was there.

It bothers me that Jack has to work so closely with her. He hasn’t told her that we are married (he says it is none of her business), and he insists there is nothing going on between them. He says he works long hours in order to make more money for us and our children.

Annie, I am confused. If I complain, he offers to quit, saying my happiness means a lot to him. But I don’t want him to resent me for making him stop doing what he loves. Should I just be quiet and see what happens? I trust my husband, but I don’t trust Sofi. – Odd Woman Out

Dear Odd Woman: One’s marital status may not be the business of a casual stranger, but an old flame carrying an Olympic torch ought to have this pertinent piece of information. By withholding it, Jack is giving Sofi hope for a relationship. This isn’t fair to her, and it certainly is suspicious to us.

We think you should invite some of Jack’s professional colleagues to your home for a casual dinner, and be sure to include Sofi. Let them get to know you. If Jack objects to this perfectly appropriate gesture, you may have cause for concern.

Dear Annie: I read your column every day, and I now find myself in need of your advice. I am 30 years old and suffer from depression. I don’t mean “sometimes I feel blue” depression. It is much more than that. I have good days and bad days, but there seem to be a lot more bad days lately. Sometimes it takes all I have just to get out of bed. I no longer find joy in the things I once did. I don’t even like to go out anymore. Not a day goes by that I don’t cry, and half the time I’m not sure why.

People tell me things could be worse or the famous “Smile! How bad can it be?” Well, I don’t want to find out. I have people around who love me, so why am I so sad and lonely? I will admit that I have even cut myself to take the “sad” away.

For now, I breathe in and out to get through the days. Where do I go from here? – Anyone in Anywhere, USA

Dear Anyone: You go directly to your doctor and ask for a referral to a therapist. You sound clinically depressed, which means the “sad” isn’t going to go away without some professional intervention, which may include medication. In the meantime, contact the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance ( Good luck.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from the man whose wife wants her mother to move back in with them, when it didn’t work out so well the first time. I sympathize with Mr. “Preparing to Move Out.” His situation supports the answer to the question, “Why did Adam live a very long life?” The answer? “Because he did not have a mother-in-law.” Carry on. – Rocky

Dear Rocky: We’re laughing now, but you can bet we’ll be hearing shortly from all the mothers-in-law out there.

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