Husband afraid wife might have been victim of incest

I am perplexed as to what to do. I’m positive that my wife was a victim of incest, but I don’t know how to broach the subject or how to help her.

Dear Annie: I am perplexed as to what to do. I’m positive that my wife was a victim of incest, but I don’t know how to broach the subject or how to help her.

Her sister manifests similar problems that I’ve heard are caused by rape by one’s father. But I don’t have any hard evidence, only a hunch. What can I do? How do you open such a discussion? — G.

Dear G.: Signs of incest do not distinguish between abuse by one’s father as opposed to one’s uncle, brother, stepparent or other trusted relative or friend. Signs can include flashbacks, nightmares, memory issues, anxiety disorders, self-mutilation, an inability to form relationships, sexual dysfunction, eating disorders, and drug or alcohol abuse, among others. We don’t know what specifically makes you believe your wife and her sister have been victims of incest, but please contact RAINN (rainn.org) at 1-800-656-HOPE for additional information and assistance.

Dear Annie: I am 55 and the oldest of three siblings. We had a close, happy family until my father died unexpectedly six years ago. After the funeral, I saw my mother sitting with my sister, “Nina,” and her insurance agent, having everything changed to Nina’s name. It used to be in mine.

My mother is of completely sound mind. Since Dad passed, however, she has allowed Nina to control her life. My sister handles all of her finances and won’t discuss them with my brother or me. Although Mom and I used to go places together, she now won’t get in my car for any reason, not even to attend church.

Nina’s family has my mother buffaloed into thinking they are the only ones who care about her. My brother and I feel like outcasts. Unlike Nina, we are quite successful and don’t need anything from Mom. I love my mother, Annie, but she pushes me away. This morning, I went to have tea with her, as I do every day, and she was whispering into the phone to Nina with her hand over her mouth so I wouldn’t overhear. I try to remain a good daughter, but my feelings are so hurt. I know Nina would love it if I stopped visiting. Why would a parent choose a favorite like this? — Used To Be Her Daughter

Dear Used To Be: While you say your mother is of “sound mind,” you could be wrong. The sudden death of her husband could have sent her into a tailspin of depression, anxiety and confusion. Your sister exploited this, but Mom may have been so grateful that Nina took over that she submitted totally and now fears alienating her in any way.

When you visit Mom for morning tea, please talk to her about this. Don’t mention Nina, which will turn it into a competition and force Mom to defend your sister. Simply tell her you love her and worry that she is pushing you away. Ask how to improve your relationship so it doesn’t disintegrate.

Dear Annie: “Mike’s” letter explaining how important interaction is with a terminal cancer patient made me weep for all the times I did nothing. Thank you so much for printing it.

Caregivers of those patients should be urged to use hospice as soon as the inevitable is made known. I lost my husband to cancer 12 years ago. I thought I should do everything myself for as long as I could, but now I know that hospice would have made it so much easier for him, as well as for me. Hospice staff know exactly what to do and when to do it. Sorry to say, there were times when I did not. — Moving Forward Now

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.

Just Posted

Ella Stoner, five, is ready to cut off her hair and donate it to A Child’s Voice Foundation. (Photo by Lauren Stoner Photography)
Central Alberta girl to donate her ‘princess hair’ to A Child’s Voice Foundation

A five-year-old girl from Rimbey has never had a haircut before. Now,… Continue reading

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Alberta adds 1,195 new COVID-19 cases Saturday

Red Deer has dropped to 760 active cases

Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr
Central Alberta MLAs comment on UCP members kicked out of caucus

A pair of central Alberta MLAs have commented on the two United… Continue reading

Contributed photo
Johanna Hannaford: Central Alberta designer offers inclusive clothing

By Stephanie Rhodes Local designer Johanna Hannaford’s inclusive clothing creations are smashing… Continue reading

Red life-ring with splash
Started from the bottom: How a family business started and grew in central Alberta

By Carina Moran We started our business in the basement of our… Continue reading

Vancouver Canucks' Zack MacEwen (71), Travis Boyd (72) and Jimmy Vesey (24) celebrate a goal against the Edmonton Oilers during third period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 15, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Big third period lifts Vancouver Canucks to 4-1 victory over Edmonton Oilers

Canucks 4 Oilers 1 EDMONTON — Matthew Highmore scored twice in the… Continue reading

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Canada’s vaccine rollout operation won’t miss a beat with new military leader: expert

DARTMOUTH — The sudden departure of the senior military officer in charge… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Quebec premier argues province has power to amend constitution in letter to Trudeau

MONTREAL — Quebec Premier François Legault has written a letter to Prime… Continue reading

A demonstrator stands in front of riot police officers during a banned protest in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, in Paris, Saturday, May, 15, 2021. Marches in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip were being held Saturday in a dozen French cities, but the focus was on Paris where riot police countered organizers who said they would defy a ban on the protest, ordered on the grounds that it risked turning violent. (AP Photo/Rafael Yaghobzadeh)
Police fire tear gas on banned Palestinian march in Paris

PARIS (AP) — French riot police fired tear gas and used water… Continue reading

Photo by The Associated Press
NYC Pride parade bans police; Gay officers ‘disheartened’

NEW YORK (AP) — Organizers of New York City’s Pride events said… Continue reading

Welcoming cowboy boots at the historic and colourful Last Chance Saloon in the ghost town of Wayne near Drumheller, Alta., on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019. The bar and hotel are up for sale. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘It was a going concern’: Remaining bar and hotel in Alberta coal ghost town for sale

WAYNE, Alta. — Built during the First World War, it survived the… Continue reading

A letter from a bottle that washed up in New Brunswick in 2017 is shown in an undated handout photo. A team of researchers from Université du Québec à Rimouski are trying to solve the mystery of whether a letter in a bottle that washed up in New Brunswick in 2017 was indeed from a young victim of Titanic shipwreck or simply a hoax. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, N. Beaudry, UQAR *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Real or hoax? Quebec scholars probe mystery letter allegedly from Titanic passenger

MONTREAL — Researchers from Université du Québec à Rimouski are trying to… Continue reading

Minister of Transport Marc Garneau takes part in a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. Advocates, experts and opposition MPs say correspondence showing close communication between the federal Transport Department and the Canadian Transportation Agency regarding passenger refunds throws into question the independence of the CTA, an arm’s-length body. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Emails reveal close communication between government, transport regulator on refunds

OTTAWA — Advocates, experts and opposition MPs say correspondence showing close communication… Continue reading

Most Read