Can’t control someone else’s friendships

My husband and I were great friends with my sister and her husband. When we separated, my ex continued to hang out with them because they liked to drink and do drugs together. After the divorce, they stopped seeing him.

Dear Annie: My husband and I were great friends with my sister and her husband.

When we separated, my ex continued to hang out with them because they liked to drink and do drugs together. After the divorce, they stopped seeing him.

I just found out that they rekindled the friendship when my sister met his new wife at a party for one of my grandchildren. That was a year ago.

I feel betrayed, hurt, angry and very disappointed. When I spoke to my sister, she said, “You’ve been divorced for a long time, and your ex has been friends with my husband for years.”

This is not true. Once the divorce was final, they had no contact until last year.

Am I wrong? Is it all right for them to be friends again knowing how I feel? — Kicked Again

Dear Kicked: We understand that you want your sister to be supportive, but if she and her husband have a relationship with your ex and his wife (likely due to the drugs and alcohol), it really is no longer your business.

We know this isn’t what you want to hear, but trying to control someone else’s friendships tends to backfire.

Instead of convincing your sister to stop socializing with your ex, your protests likely will create an estrangement between you and your sister. You can ask her not to invite him to family functions where you will be present.

However, since you have children (and grandchildren) with your ex, it is unrealistic to think you will never bump into them.

It is in your best interests to learn how to tolerate their presence when necessary.

Dear Annie: While I do not consider myself a gourmet chef, I do take a lot of pride in my cooking.

I go to a lot of trouble to get the seasoning just right. The problem is, my husband takes one look or maybe a taste and then immediately drenches his food in hot sauce. It really hurts my feelings. Am I being oversensitive? — Proud Woman

Dear Proud: We assume other people enjoy your cooking, so please don’t take this so personally.

It’s not as if your husband says you need a pinch more salt or a sprinkling of oregano. Drenching food in hot sauce says that your husband likes the taste of hot sauce and likely cannot taste much of anything else. If he doesn’t put hot sauce on it, it has no flavor at all.

His taste buds may not be salvageable, although you could ask him to please taste the food before altering it. But we suggest you save your more elaborate efforts for those who can appreciate them.

Dear Annie: Now that I am retired, I finally have time to read the paper every day.

I enjoy your column and agree completely with your advice to “Aunt,” who asked about registries for graduation gifts.

However, in your response you said that “it is wrong to send out notices inferring that the recipient is obligated.” I would like to respectfully correct your choice of words: “Infer” means to interpret or to deduce from what the sender “implies.”

The word you should have used is “implying.” — Another Reader

Dear Reader: You are absolutely right, and you weren’t the only one to point it out.

We knew better, and it still slid right by us. (Some days, we are more overwhelmed than others.) Six lashes with a wet noodle for us.

Dear Readers: We are carrying on Ann Landers’ tradition that April 2 be set aside as Reconciliation Day, a time to make the first move toward mending broken relationships.

It also is the day on which we would agree to accept the olive branch extended by a former friend or an estranged family member and do our best to start over.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

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