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Set boundaries with mom

Kathy Mitchell And Marcy Sugar

Dear Annie: My husband and I are newlyweds living with my mother-in-law and it’s driving us crazy. We had to move in with her when our apartment flooded and I was five months pregnant. Since then, every time an opportunity to leave has come up, something happens to dash those hopes, usually involving our finances and my credit.

My husband goes to school full time and works part time, while I work full time. My mother-in-law is constantly telling us how to raise our baby, what is best for him, what he should eat, etc. She talked my husband into buying 20 acres of land and co-signed for it. Now he wants to get out of it, but can’t figure out how to do it without messing up his credit and his mother’s, as well.

Please help us get out from under my mother-in-law’s iron thumb. – Between the Mother-in-Law and the Bank

Dear Between: Since you are not in a position to leave, you and your husband need to sit down with Mom and set some boundaries. First talk to Hubby alone and make sure you both want the same things and he is willing to stand up to his mother. Then present a united front to Mom, letting your husband do most of the talking. It does not need to be confrontational.

Explain that living with her has been a financial lifesaver and you are enormously grateful. But in order for you to become responsible parents, you must be the ones in charge of your child’s care. You, your husband and child need to develop an autonomous unit so that when you are ready to move out, you will not be dependent on Mom.

As for the 20 acres, that is a separate issue. In the current economy, we don’t know if your husband can sell the land or whether it’s beneficial to sell at a loss, but he needs to discuss this frankly with his mother and reach an agreement.

Dear Annie: I am way too embarrassed to ask my doctor this question, but you seem to have an answer for almost everything.

When women have gone through menopause or had a hysterectomy, are they still able to climax during sex? – Just Wondering for Future Reference

Dear Wondering: Yes. However, for some women, sex can become uncomfortable and that might inhibit response, in which case you should look into over-the-counter lubricants or talk to your doctor about hormones and other possibilities.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.
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