Dear Annie: I am a 27-year-old woman who, until recently, was happy and secure. Out of the blue, my husband of two years decided he did not want to be married and is refusing any counseling or reconciliation efforts. I am overwhelmed with grief and frightened about my future.
My family is helpful, but one family member drives me crazy. Almost every time we speak, she mentions something to do with my weight, like, “You used to be so pretty,” or “You could be such a beautiful girl,” etc. I am not terribly overweight and, in fact, have lost a few pounds recently. Now that I’m going to be single, I realize I should focus on looking better, but my self-esteem is low enough right now, and I don’t need to be reminded of the incredible rejection I have just been through. What can I say to this relative to make the torment stop? – Not That Fat
Dear Not Fat: This insensitive relative has no idea she is insulting you, so you must enlighten her. Say calmly and forcefully, “Aunt Betsy, I know you don’t mean to be rude, but it is very cruel to constantly focus on my weight. I would appreciate it if you would stop making such hurtful comments.” She’ll sputter and make excuses, but it should do the trick.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Worried Dad,” whose 15-year-old daughter wants to attend sleepovers at friends’ homes where alcohol is served by the parents.
If other parents choose to allow their children to be put at risk like this, so be it. As the parent of a 17-year-old daughter, my answer would be a resounding “No!” My husband and I are no longer astounded at the lack of backbone found in many of today’s parents, but we have no intention of caving in to this madness. – Vermont Mom
Dear Vermont: Many readers suggested that “Worried Dad” inform the host parents that if alcohol is served, he will call the police. It won’t help his popularity, but it could put an end to that particular problem.
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