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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Dear Annie 8/8

By Annie Lane Creators Syndicate

Dear Annie: I thought I would share some fantastic advice my husband and I received from a marriage counselor a few years ago during a very difficult patch in our 28-year relationship.

I tend to get worked up over things, i.e., injustices, politics, perceived slights, etc. My husband tends to underreact as a result, thinking he will diffuse my annoyance and anger. A marriage counselor pointed out that this action and reaction only made both of our reactions bigger. She suggested that if my husband could “rise up” a little more, even though it goes against his nature, I might not feel as though I have to get so upset over things.

Three days later, we had an incident in which my husband FINALLY got as mad as I was about our situation and, lo and behold, I was the calm one! It was MAGIC.

I’ve talked with other friends in similar relationships with their partners and suggested this strategy to them, and they, too, have had similar results.

It’s helped our marriage immensely. Even when I have to remind him to “rise up,” it still diffuses me more than if he were underreacting. Hopefully, this helps other couples.

Thanks for your great column! – Meet in the Middle

Dear Meet in the Middle: Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful advice. I am sure it will help other couples as well.

Dear Annie: Could you publish something about giving sympathy to those who have had to let a dear pet go either because their health dictated that euthanasia was the best alternative to keep them from suffering, or whether they passed on their own without veterinary assistance?

I recently lost mine to illness. He could not have gotten better, and the treatment would have been painful. We were extremely close, due to being constant companions during the pandemic. His loss was extremely hard for me.

Please advise people not to ask anyone who has had such a loss if they are going to get another pet. I know they mean well and are asking because they care, but this question can be very hurtful to those who cherish their pets as members of the family. Some folks want another pet right away, and others may take months or years before they are ready. Some folks opt not to get another pet at all because it hurts so much to lose them. – Lost My Best Friend

Dear Lost My Best Friend: I am very sorry for the loss of your pet. Thank you for sharing your letter. Hoping it brings more understanding to others.

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