Dear Annie: I have been married to my husband for 38 years, and it took me quite a long time to realize this dynamic of being interrupted was not going to change, no matter what I did or said. That type of person is only interested in listening to themselves talk about family stories and things that happened in the past.
If any of your readers find themselves in similar situations, it might be useful for them to take a discreet survey of all family members when they are being interrupted. I was very surprised to discover, after the fact, that my mother-in-law took my side when I was very rudely interrupted by my brother-in-law.
She left the table, a fact that she confided in my husband later on. She told him she just couldn’t stand how I was constantly being interrupted. She comes from a background of avoiding confrontation at all costs, so I don’t ever expect her to say anything, but her actions speak loudly enough for me and make me love her all the more.
— Love My Mother-in-Law
Dear Love My Mother-in-Law: Being interrupted is rude and frustrating, no matter how you look at it. I’m printing your letter because it is nice to hear someone praising mothers-in-law. Usually, people write in to share their frustrations with them, so it was sweet to hear that you love her and that she saw the situation as you did.
When she got up and left the table, she was sending a strong message in her own quiet way. Actions speak louder than words.
Dear Annie: I have been married for 15 years. A little over a year ago, I started having an affair with an ex-girlfriend. The affair ended a month ago. It is over and done with.
I am not sure if I should tell my wife about it or just keep it a secret. I feel that if I tell her, nothing good would come from it, other than being truthful. However, I see it destroying the trust she has in me. I can’t think of a good reason to tell her. What should I do?
— A Cheater in Upstate NY
Dear Cheater: Ask yourself what your intentions are in confessing. Are you doing it to relieve yourself of guilty feelings? The feelings are there, whether you tell her or not. The real question to ask is why you cheated in the first place. That might be better flushed out with a therapist.
Dear Annie: As someone who has long suffered from an easily stressed digestive system, I suggest that “Gut Feelings” also see a functional medicine practitioner. Food sensitivities and gut dysbiosis are very common, yet unrecognized, causes of distress.
With testing to evaluate digestive health and identify imbalances, digestive comfort can often be attained with dietary changes and supplements. I’ve been there and am now feeling so much better.
— Healthy Gut
Dear Healthy: Congratulations on getting your gut in good health. Taking proper care of one’s body through healthy foods, exercise, meditation or prayer, and lots of sleep, love and laughter, is always a good idea.
Annie Lane, a graduate of New York Law School and New York University, writes this column for Creators Syndicate. Email questions to email@example.com.