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Monday, December 9, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Annie’s Mailbox: Don’t push spouse; rather, offer to help

By Kathy Mitchell/Marcy Sugar

Dear Annie: I have been married to “Archie” for 20 years. He used to be self-employed, but the business wasn’t going well, so he got a regular job. He worked for a few years, but didn’t like it and decided to go back into business for himself. He said if it didn’t work out, he would find employment elsewhere.

Needless to say, his business is failing, and we are getting behind with our bills. I can only work part time due to health reasons. Archie has sent out a couple of job applications, but hasn’t heard anything yet. I want him to be more aggressive, whether it’s promoting his own business or making follow-up calls to places where he applied for jobs, but he won’t do it.

In this economy, any job would be better than the little he’s doing now. Archie is a bit of a procrastinator, and things are not going to just fall into his lap. He considers it nagging if I ask about a job or remind him to make a call. This is having a negative effect on our marriage, because I’m worried about our finances and he doesn’t seem to care about his family. It’s like he has no pride. Am I wrong, or is he going through some kind of midlife crisis? – Betty

Dear Betty: We don’t think pride is the issue. Is Archie depressed? Does he suffer from undiagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder? Instead of pushing him to be more aggressive, which only annoys him, work on the underlying causes of his inertia. Suggest he see his doctor. Ask how you can help him. See whether a teamwork approach improves the situation.

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@comcast .net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, visit the

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