Dear Annie: I am 29 years old, own my home and support myself. I am in a serious relationship with a wonderful man who is African-American.
All of my life, my family has been ruled by my maternal grandmother. My “nana” doesn’t approve of this relationship because my boyfriend is black and I am white, and this has caused much heartache for me. My mother says I am not allowed to bring my boyfriend to family functions, because “it will kill my grandmother.” She also says I am selfish to continue this relationship despite the fact that my parents and nana don’t approve.
Annie, I’m planning to marry this man. I don’t feel that I should have to give up my happiness because my family cannot accept the man I have chosen to spend my life with. How do I convince my parents that I’m entitled to happiness regardless of what they think? I am in so much pain because it seems that my parents care more about my nana’s feelings than their daughter’s future.
Dear Devastated: If this is the man you are going to marry, then do it and stop worrying about your family’s approval. You should pay attention to them if your choices are poor — if you pick abusers or addicts, for example. But if your guy is good to you and you will take care of each other throughout life’s ups and downs, you do not need to please anyone else. While it would be sad if your family cannot eventually learn to accept this, please have the courage of your convictions.
Dear Annie: My husband and I recently traveled with another couple to a different city for a sporting event. The area where we stayed had a shuttle bus to take us to the ballgame.
After the game, our husbands walked ahead of us, and my friend and I were talking and didn’t realize that we were not walking toward the shuttle bus. By the time we noticed, about 10 people were in line between our husbands and us. We said, “Excuse me,” and tried to get to our husbands, and at least four people started screaming, “Who do you think you are trying to cut the line? You New Yorkers just push ahead of everybody.”
They continued to make uncomplimentary remarks about New Yorkers (we don’t even live there anymore). My friend and I just stood there because we didn’t want to get into an argument. What should we have done?
Dear Judy: It might have helped if you had simply said, “So sorry! Please excuse us. We need to catch up to our husbands,” and then called to the men so they could confirm. But people are not obligated to let you pass them in line, and you were smart not to pick a fight with these belligerent folks. We trust your husbands saved you seats on the shuttle.
Dear Annie: I disagree with your response to “Rejected,” whose wife spends her time online or with her widowed mother instead of in the bedroom.
If this had been a woman writing about her husband, your first reaction would have been to suggest an affair. I think this explains everything. My ex used to do the same thing when she “visited her aunt.” I found out when I saw an envelope addressed to a P.O. Box and read about her sexual exploits.
She is probably staying with him so she won’t have to give him money in a divorce.
-- Been There and Had It Done to Me
Dear Been: You could be right. However, he said they have been married for 34 years. For many women, sex after menopause becomes a miserable chore or even a painful experience. We wouldn’t rule out an affair, but we think it’s more likely she’s simply avoiding intimacy.
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