Dear Annie: I am 28 and have been with my 23-year-old boyfriend for over four years. We have lived together for the last three. Last month, “Kyle” talked about our relationship, and he acknowledged that we might be headed in different directions. He said he wanted some time apart.
Throughout our relationship, whenever I felt something wasn’t right, I’d ask Kyle about it, and he would assure me that we were fine and he was happy. Is it possible for him to suddenly be unhappy, or has he been holding it all in?
After telling me he needed to “see what else was out there,” we agreed to separate. I loved him enough to let him go, and if he came back, well, you know how it goes. After a few days, Kyle decided we could remain apart without sacrificing what we have. He insisted he wasn’t interested in being with anyone else.
We have talked about things that need to change. He wants to be free to do things outside of our relationship (go out with friends, etc.), without feeling guilty and without me getting upset. In return, I want him to communicate better when he feels something is wrong.
We have been back together for two weeks, and I am in emotional turmoil, always waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m working as hard as I can to keep my end of the bargain, and things have been going well. Should I just wait and see where it goes, or am I only postponing the inevitable? — Scared and in Love
Dear Scared: Our calculations say Kyle has been with you since he was 19. He may feel he’s missed out on something. We don’t doubt that he cares deeply for you, but right now, he is not ready for the commitment you crave, and we can’t tell you if he ever will be. As much as this will hurt, it might be wise for both of you to agree to see others, before it happens anyway.
Dear Annie: My fiance and I are getting married in August. About a year ago, my future mother-in-law, “Kim,” had a dispute with her sister, and they are still on the outs. Kim informs us that if we invite her sister, she will not attend our wedding. My fiance and I are still very close with his aunt, and her son will be our best man.
A few months ago, Kim married her third husband. We do not get along with him, but we attended her wedding with a smile on our faces. How can we explain to her that this is our day and we want all the people close to us to share it? We don’t want to destroy an already fragile relationship. — Frustrated Bride-to-be in New York
Dear N.Y.: Kim’s personality indicates that you are going to have problems with her, no matter what. So, we say not to let her bully you. Invite everyone. If Kim refuses to attend, say, “We’re so sorry. You’ll be missed.”
Dear Annie: This is not earth shattering, but I’d like to do the right thing. My former hairstylist, “Georgia,” moved away to become a military bride. She asked her clients to please use “Jennifer,” her friend at the same salon. Jennifer, a single mother who needs the work, has been very satisfactory.
Now, Georgia has returned to the salon and wants her former clients back. Am I under a moral obligation to go back to Georgia, when I’ve been happily going to Jennifer at least as long, if not longer? My gut instinct is “no,” but I’d like your advice. — Puzzled in Pensacola
Dear Pensacola: Your gut instinct is correct. When Georgia moved away, you had no way of knowing it was temporary, and you became accustomed to Jennifer. If Georgia demands to know your intentions, simply say, “I’ve grown used to the way Jennifer does my hair, but if any of my friends are interested, I’ll be sure to refer them to you.”
“Annie’s Mailbox” is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2016. To find out more about Classic Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.