Dear Annie: I have been married five years, and my husband has never wanted to work.
I am the sole support for our family. I recently kicked him out and am considering divorce.
He is mean to my daughter from a previous marriage and screams and cusses at our four-year-old twins. We have no sex life, and I am tired of supporting a bum.
I let him see the twins twice a week at my house because he has no permanent home.
But I’m sick of seeing him because he lays guilt trips on me about how he has no money and no place to live. Am I wrong to call it quits? — Disgusted in Indiana
Dear Disgusted: Is it possible your husband is depressed, making him too lethargic to work? Has he seen a doctor lately? Would he be receptive to counseling? If he refuses to seek help or get a job, it may indeed be time to see a lawyer, although it is likely to cost you a financial settlement or alimony payments.
Visitation will be ongoing, so it helps to have an amicable arrangement.
Is he trustworthy enough to be left alone in your house with the kids? Can someone besides you be present when he visits? Can a grandparent’s home be used instead? Can he take the children elsewhere (i.e., a playground or zoo)? If you intend to make this permanent, please discuss arrangements with your attorney.
Dear Annie: I lost my only daughter in a terrible car accident two weeks ago. My friends and family were so supportive.
I received many flowers, cards, food and even money. I placed an ad in the newspaper, thanking everyone for their prayers and support. Should I have taken the time to send each one a personal thank-you card? — Widowed Mom
Dear Mom: Our condolences on your terrible loss. While the newspaper ad was a reasonable idea, rules of etiquette say that anyone who did a kindness for you, or sent flowers, money or handwritten condolence notes, should be thanked with a handwritten note of your own. (Cards with no personal message do not require an acknowledgment.)
You also can use pre-printed acknowledgment cards if you write a short personal note on them. If this is too overwhelming, ask a relative or friend to help write these notes on your behalf.
Dear Annie: I want to respond to “Sleepless in Salem, Ore.,” whose husband has terrible sleep apnea and refuses to see a doctor.
Five years ago, I shared a hotel room with my sister. She was awakened by my snoring and, while she was up, counted the seconds between breaths. The next day, she told me I often went 40 seconds without breathing and then gasped for air.
When I returned home, I did a sleep study (insurance paid for it). I slept for two hours and then was given a CPAP machine and slept for another two hours.
When it was over, the nurse showed me a computer chart.
The first two hours looked like a Richter scale gone crazy with periodic flatlining. The doctor said I woke up 248 times and was a good candidate for a heart attack.
On the CPAP machine, however, I was in deep sleep.
It was the first time in years that I felt rested. Before the study, I often fell asleep driving home. Shame on you for telling her to give up by sleeping in another room and making sure his insurance is paid up.
Hopefully, her husband will see this and realize he’s risking his life and the lives of those around him. — CPAP User
Dear CPAP User: We hope he’ll realize it, too, but he isn’t as willing as you to get help, which is why we told our reader to take care of herself just in case.
It has nothing to do with giving up. It’s for her protection.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.