Dear Annie: I am married with three children. Recently, my husband, without much research, discussion or preparation, decided that he was going to join the Army National Guard. (He had served in the Army before I knew him.) I know this is something he really wants to do, but I am worried about the impact his choice will have on me and our three children in the event he is called to duty.
My husband always has worked and supported our family, although I will be working again once my youngest starts school this fall. I feel anxious because we are not prepared financially or emotionally for such a huge change. I can’t help but think he is being too quick to make such a big step, and one that ultimately may jeopardize our family’s stability. What do you say? — Mixed Feelings in North Carolina
Dear N.C.: Of course it will be a huge change if your husband is called to active duty, and that is a real possibility. This does not mean you can’t weather the hardships as other military families do.
As a former service member, your husband may truly feel that he should be in uniform. However, for him to make such a decision without first making sure his wife is in agreement may indicate that he prefers his obligations to his country over those to you. If that is the case, it bears discussing with him. Otherwise, we strongly recommend you contact the Army Reserve Family Programs Online at www.arfp.org to learn how to prepare for the possible changes to your lives.
Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for five years. We both are immigrants, although we came from different countries. Since we are not fluent in each other’s native tongue, we speak English at home.
Recently, my husband’s college friends and their wives came for dinner. All of them are fluent in English, but during dinner, they chatted in my husband’s native language. Of course, I was clueless about the discussion and sat there like a fool.
It’s not the first time this has happened. The next day, I brought it up to my husband and begged him, as a compromise, to at least translate some of the conversation. I’d like to get to know his friends better. Instead, my husband said he wouldn’t do this, so he will no longer invite them over. This makes me sad.
Is it appropriate for my husband to exclude me? He says I am making a big fuss over nothing. Am I? — Hurt and Upset
Dear Hurt: It is extremely rude to carry on a conversation in any language when one of those present cannot understand what is being said. This is particularly true when it is a social event and all of the guests are capable of speaking a common second language.
However, you have been married to this guy for five years. Don’t you think it’s time both of you made the effort to learn each other’s native tongue, so you are part of each other’s culture and neither of you is left out of these conversations?
Dear Annie: I urge all your male readers age 40 and older to have a yearly PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) test. I was considering donating a kidney to a family member, and one of the tests I was given was a PSA. The results were high, and a follow-up biopsy showed prostate cancer.
My cancer was caught in time and, after a radical prostatectomy, I am on my way to recovery. After my diagnosis, my older cousin immediately went for a PSA test, and he, too, found out he has prostate cancer. A grade-school friend did the same but was not so lucky. His cancer has spread to the bones and lymph nodes.
I never thought I could have cancer, but now I am — A Survivor in Germany
Dear Survivor: Thank you for the warning. Readers, if you or someone you love is due for a PSA test, please schedule one today.
“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.