Dear Annie: I was with Barry for two years. After the first eight months of an amazing relationship, things started going downhill. Out of the blue, I felt I couldn’t trust him. He didn’t do anything in particular. For no reason, I just started checking his phone and becoming clingy and controlling. We fought over stupid things because of me.
Eventually, Barry couldn’t take the questioning and accusations anymore, and I couldn’t stand myself for treating him this way, so we broke up.
We love each other and have a hard time staying apart, so we keep going back and forth trying to work it out. But I still have a problem with trust.
Barry is a good man, and I know he wouldn’t cheat. Why can’t I let this damaging, insecure behavior go? We have great times hanging out together but always end up fighting. Then we split for a couple of days and then try again. It’s an endless cycle.
What do I do about this relationship? And how do I stop worrying about what he’s doing, why he is on the phone or who he’s talking to? – Insecure Girlfriend
Dear Girlfriend: Either Barry is subtly behaving in a way that makes you distrust him, or you are so insecure that you are subconsciously sabotaging your relationship. In order to change the dynamic between the two of you, please get some couples counseling and work on ways to modify your behavior so the relationship has a chance to move forward.
Dear Annie: My son is marrying a very sweet girl next June, and I am very happy for them. The problem is, the bride’s mother does not want me to have anything to do with the wedding and has thrown a fit about my involvement. My son and his girlfriend caved and did not defend me.
At first, the bride asked me to address the invitations and handle the photographs. However, when her mom found out, I was no longer welcome to help in any way. She says as the groom’s mother, it is not my place. Yet her older son recently married, and she played a huge part in that event. Why is she depriving me of the same pleasure?
So far, I have not said a word. However, I was going to help pay for the wedding, and now I don’t intend to contribute one red cent.
I have not been kept informed of the progress of the wedding plans and have lost all my joy for the big day. I’m also hurt that my son and his bride won’t stand up for me.
What should I do? – Deeply Depressed Texas Mom
Dear Texas Mom: We feel sorry for your son, who is going to have a barracuda for a mother-in-law and a bride who is too intimidated to speak up.
Please don’t turn this into a grudge match. Step back graciously, relax and allow yourself to be a guest at the wedding.
If you have promised to contribute toward the cost and have changed your mind, be sure to tell your son so he can plan accordingly. The way you handle this disappointment will set the tone for your future relationship with your son and his wife. Tread carefully.
Dear Annie: I had a good laugh at your answer to “Sad Wife,” whose husband was “wonderful,” but only wanted sex once a month. You told her he could be depressed or need to have his testosterone checked.
My husband only wanted sex once a month. I discovered he was having an affair with the mother of my daughter’s best friend.
I, too, thought he was a workaholic, but the business trips and overtime stopped as soon as his affair was exposed. Maybe instead of having his testosterone checked, that wife should check out where he really is when he is “never home.” – Took the Money and Got Even in Texas
Dear Texas: That is, unfortunately, always a possibility. We hope it’s not the case for “Sad.”
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.