Sis­ters strug­gling as woman copes with seper­a­tion a bit too fast

The China Post - - LIFE -

My sis­ters and I have al­ways been close, but some changes have oc­curred this year that threaten our re­la­tion­ship.

My youngest sis­ter, “Car­rie,” sep­a­rated from her hus­band of 13 years and it has been a tu­mul­tuous four months for all of us. She be­gan dat­ing again a month ago, and one re­la­tion­ship has pro­gressed nicely. She has al­ready in­tro­duced her new beau to her kids. But the pres­ence of another per­son in Car­rie’s life has added more con­flict to the sep­a­ra­tion, and we’ve all been af­fected. Her kids have con­fided in us how un­happy they are, so we men­tioned it to Car­rie. That talk didn’t go over well.

We are plan­ning a small get­to­gether for my great- aunt’s birth­day and Car­rie is plan­ning to bring her (un­in­vited) new beau. To be frank, my older sis­ter and I aren’t ready to meet him. We’re still knee-deep in the con­flict with Car­rie and her hus­band. While the sep­a­ra­tion is not the boyfriend’s fault, his pres­ence re­minds the kids of their par­ents’ con­flict and hurts them tremen­dously. It also will af­fect what­ever chances Car­rie has to rec­on­cile with her hus­band or even man­age to have a civil re­la­tion­ship with him should they di­vorce.

I don’t want to hurt my lit­tle sis­ter, but this whole or­deal has left the fam­ily emo­tion­ally spent and I don’t have the energy to pre­tend I am happy about hav­ing her boyfriend around. How do we sup­port Car­rie with­out con­don­ing what we know is hurt­ing the kids?

— Sad Sis­ters Strug­gling

Dear Sis­ters: We agree that Car­rie is be­hav­ing reck­lessly. She is so ea­ger to prove to her hus­band that she doesn’t need him that she is fall­ing into a re­la­tion­ship much too soon and ig­nor­ing her chil­dren’s emo­tional pain. Un­for­tu­nately, you can­not seem to con­vince her to be more cau­tious right now.

Please con­cen­trate your

ef- forts on the chil­dren. Ex­plain that some­times they will need to tol­er­ate the boyfriend’s pres­ence (as will you) in or­der to keep in­clud­ing Car­rie in fam­ily gath­er­ings. No one needs to be overly friendly or ac­cept­ing, only po­lite. Let the kids know they are loved, and help them be pa­tient with their mother while you pro­vide the emo­tional sup­port they need.

Dear An­nie: I’d like to com­ment on the let­ter from “Not Buy­ing Nar­colepsy,” whose hus­band can­not stay awake. It re­minded me of my hus­band.

His fa­tigue be­came so acute that I took him to the doc­tor, think­ing he had a thy­roid prob­lem. As it turns out, he was suf­fer­ing from a ge­netic dis­or­der called hemochro­mato­sis (iron over­load). Too much iron in the blood dis­places oxy­gen and thick­ens the blood. Doc­tors do not rou­tinely test for this and con­se­quently, it of­ten goes un­di­ag­nosed. The fix is sim­ple -- do­nate blood.

— Spald­ing, Miss.

Dear Spald­ing: We have men­tioned hemochro­mato­sis be­fore. Symp­toms in­clude chronic fa­tigue, weak­ness, joint pain, hy­pothy­roidism, di­a­betes and high blood sugar, im­po­tence, in­fer­til­ity, dark­en­ing of the skin with­out sun ex­po­sure, heart ar­rhyth­mia, chronic ab­dom­i­nal pain, as well as jaun­diced eyes and skin. The tests are serum iron, TIBC (to­tal iron-bind­ing ca­pac­ity), per­cent of sat­u­ra­tion, serum fer­ritin and an HFE gene mu­ta­tion DNA test. For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact The Amer­i­can Hemochro­mato­sis So­ci­ety (amer­i­canhs.org) at 1-888-655-IRON. An­nie’s Mail­box is writ­ten by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, long­time ed­i­tors of the Ann Lan­ders col­umn. Please email your ques­tions to an­nies­mail­box@ cre­ators.com, or write to: An­nie’ s Mail­box, c/o Cre­ators Syn­di­cate, 737 3rd Street, Her­mosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find An­nie on Face­book at Face­book.com/ AskAn­nies. To find out more about An­nie’s Mail­box and read fea­tures by other Cre­ators Syn­di­cate writ­ers and car­toon­ists, visit the Cre­ators Syn­di­cate Web page at www. cre­ators.com.

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