Too young for mar­riage?

Cape Breton Post - - IN MEMORIAM/ADVICE/HEALTH - Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar An­nie’s Mail­box is writ­ten by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, long­time ed­i­tors of the Ann Lan­ders col­umn. Please email your ques­tions to an­nies­mail­box@cre­, or write to: An­nie’s Mail­box, c/o Cre­ators Syn­di­cate, 73

Dear An­nie: I re­cently broke up with my boyfriend of two years. I had been hav­ing doubts for a few months and one night he took me out for a sur­prise pic­nic. On the way to the pic­nic, I thought he was go­ing to pro­pose and the only thought I had was: "How do I tell him no?"

We had a great re­la­tion­ship, but I'm not sure he's the one I want to spend the rest of my life with. I miss him and feel lonely, but I rec­og­nize those feel­ings don't mean I'm to­tally in love with him. My friends say he took the breakup re­ally hard and has been do­ing poorly since. I feel hor­ri­ble about it, but I want to be sure I marry "the one."

We have talked since then and he wants to get back to­gether, but I'm not con­vinced. I'm only 21 and want to ex­pe­ri­ence things my­self. He says we can do them to­gether. Did I make the right choice? Should I go back to him? — Con­fused in Ne­braska

Dear Ne­braska: We can't tell you if he's "the one." Most re­la­tion­ships aren't that black-and­white. How­ever, we can see that you aren't ready to get mar­ried. You un­der­stand that you are young, that you want to ex­pe­ri­ence things on your own, and that you'd like to play the field a bit more. All of these rea­sons are quite sen­si­ble and we com­mend you for rec­og­niz­ing that you need more time.

No one should feel rushed to marry. It is pos­si­ble you will dis­cover down the road that your ex-boyfriend is re­ally the guy for you, and (if he is still avail­able) you can com­mit to him with more con­fi­dence. And if he's not the right guy, you will be happy to have let him go.

Dear An­nie: My hus­band re­tired 10 months ago af­ter 45 years of hard work and a great deal of trav­el­ing away from home.

Since his re­tire­ment, my inlaws have been hound­ing him to do their home main­te­nance projects for free. Vis­it­ing them is a four-hour drive, and he'd have to find a place to stay be­cause his par­ents don't have any ex­tra room. He also has to buy his own meals.

He re­ally doesn't want to do this. The last pro­ject he did for them took twice as long as it was sup­posed to be­cause they kept in­ter­rupt­ing him to talk about their dogs and grand­chil­dren. My hus­band has his own projects that he wants to com­plete.

So now his par­ents are mad and keep leav­ing mes­sages about what they want done. Please help. — Need an Is­land

Dear Need: First of all, this is your hus­band's prob­lem to fix, not yours. Don't try to run in­ter­fer­ence for him or re­in­force the idea that his par­ents are tak­ing ad­van­tage. It seems to us that they want his com­pany, as well as his ex­per­tise. How of­ten does he visit oth­er­wise? This could be their way of en­sur­ing his pres­ence.

If he chooses to con­tinue help­ing, please be sup­port­ive. And should he de­cide not to do so, he needs to be the one to tell them. Your best bet is to stay neu­tral. But you might sug­gest he look into hir­ing some­one to work on these projects, and it might even be worth his while to help fi­nance them.

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