Dear Annie: I’m a 15-year-old girl whose mom is her worst enemy. Mom and I haven’t really connected over the past few years.
We drive each other crazy, and both of us say hurtful things like, “I don’t care about you” or “You are ruining my life.”
Lately, things have gotten worse. She doesn’t trust me at all. She reads my email and text messages, and hovers when my boyfriend is around. I have an older brother who has a great relationship with Mom. I really want to get along with her again and be trusted. It’s important that she be a part of my life. What can I do? — Concerned Daughter
Dear Daughter: Relationships between teenage girls and their mothers can be complicated, and sometimes the reason is because you are too much alike, reacting in similar ways when upset or angry.
Try to find a calm moment to talk to Mom.
Tell her you love her.
Say that she is important to you, and ask how you can make your relationship closer. She was once a teenage girl and may have a more comprehensive idea of the challenges facing you.
But you can also remind her of how difficult it is to navigate through these years, and a closer, less discordant bond would help.
You also can discuss this problem with your school counsellor, close relative or a friend’s mother.
Dear Annie: My niece was married in a big wedding several years ago. They divorced after two years, and she was soon living with someone else. She’s been with the current guy for three years, and he finally popped the question. Big deal.
I thought surely there would be no showers for this second go-round, but a few days ago I received an invitation. I think this is in very poor taste. They both have excellent jobs and own a house. They have everything they need. Am I wrong to resent being invited to another shower? — Very Irritated
Dear Irritated: It is not uncommon to have bridal showers for second-time brides, but those who were invited to a previous shower are not obligated to bring a second gift.
The purpose is not to help furnish the home, which is presumably stocked sufficiently. Instead, such shower gifts often include theater tickets, bottles of wine, etc. Since this is your niece, you may wish to bring something small but heartfelt, although we get the distinct impression that “heartfelt” may be difficult.
Dear Annie: You missed the boat with “Sexless Lady,” whose husband only has makeup sex. You didn’t address the possibility that he’s just given up.
My wife could have written that letter.
When we first met, she dressed sexy, and we made love everywhere — in a closet, in the car, at the lake. After we married and had kids, she changed. Fifteen years later, we have sex at 10 p.m. on Saturday night, under the covers with the lights off.
She sleeps in a cotton nightgown that goes from neck to ankle. I haven’t seen her cleavage in 13 years.
My wife is attractive at 45, but to her, sex is a chore. I went to a marriage counsellor, read books, bought marital aids, tried to romance her, but it didn’t help.
It’s been three years since I initiated sex. I am staying for the kids and have let her believe my sex drive disappeared.
One day, I will leave and find a woman who doesn’t see fondling as perverted, who dresses with sex appeal and who might cook breakfast in the nude. Ladies, sex starts with the mind. If you aren’t into it, he will find someone who is. — Just Waiting
Dear Just: We’d be happy to start a National Married No Excuse Sex Day, but once a year doesn’t seem sufficient. And it won’t encourage your wife to dress in a more sexually provocative manner. Have you told her? If not, please do.
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.