Dear Annie: I believe your answer to “Canine Cacophony” provided some practical advice about how to deal with noisy dogs next door. CC had problems enjoying his/her outdoor space because of the noise.
I’d like to provide another perspective. We have one quiet dog. Our next-door neighbor has three noisy pooches who seem to be outside a lot. My neighbors are the kindest people, and they have been there for us in times of emergency and in every neighborly way imaginable.
We count ourselves fortunate to have these neighbors – dogs barking and all. All relationships have pros and cons, and I say if you don’t want to hear crying babies or barking dogs, suburbia is not for you.
That being said, we did put up a privacy fence and let our neighbors know how much we’d miss our backyard chats (there’s always the front yard!). Our dog would definitely be in on the barking if he could see his neighbors, and the fence provides a measure of peace for all of us. – Lucky in the Suburbs
Dear Lucky in the Suburbs: Good fences make for good neighbors. It sounds like you solved the problem. Your positivity and perspective regarding your neighbors are what makes for a happier life.
If we focus on the cup half full, we tend to get more joy and happiness in our lives. Acknowledging your gratitude for your wonderful neighbors while setting the boundaries that make sense for your family sounds like the perfect solution.
Seeing the good in our literal neighbor or our metaphorical neighbor leads us to live a more peaceful life.
Dear Annie: It’s been uplifting to read the stories of people persisting in the pursuit of their dreams, proving that you’re never too old. These made me think of a story that may not be well-known.
Character actor Burt Mustin did not begin his professional acting career until after he had retired at age 67. He made more than 150 appearances on television and in movies in his career, working almost until his death at 92. – Retired Postal worker
Dear Retired Postal Worker: Thank you for sharing the story about the character actor.
Dear Annie: I am a 50-year-old man, and about three years ago, my wife divorced me after 16 years of marriage. I’ve never laid a finger on her, and I’ve never cheated on her. The reason for the separation was that I was hardly ever home because I was always doing side jobs along with a full-time job.
After the divorce, we were separated for about a year-and-a-half, and then we got back together. My wife is 60 years old – 10 years older than me. She is beautiful and smart, but my issue is that when we got the divorce, after about a year, I was over her. It took a lot of grieving on my part, and now, I just can’t find the love that I had for her before the divorce. It is affecting the will to initiate sex with her, or even to be intimate. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do. I just want that love back that I had for her once before. – Trying to Love Again
Dear Trying to Love Again: Ask yourself if you are really trying to love again or if you are living with resentment toward your wife for leaving you in the first place. I don’t think your age difference is very important. What is important is how you treat each other. Pulling away from intimacy of all sorts with your wife is not the recipe for a successful marriage. With the help of a good therapist, explore if you can forgive her for the past and if you want to make the marriage work. It takes two.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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