SIB­LINGS JEAL­OUS OVER SIS­TER’S ‘GOOD LUCK’

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - WEEKEND - This Clas­sic An­nie’s Mailbox col­umn was orig­i­nally pub­lished in 2013. To find out more about Clas­sic An­nie’s Mailbox and read fea­tures by other Cre­ators Syn­di­cate writ­ers and car­toon­ists, visit Cre­ators Syn­di­cate at cre­ators.com.

Dear An­nie: My hus­band and

I are the youngest of our sib­lings, now all in our 50s with nearly grown chil­dren.

De­spite hav­ing the same op­por­tu­ni­ties, my hus­band and I are the only ones to have fin­ished col­lege, stayed mar­ried and kept the same jobs. As a re­sult, we have a nice home, two cars and col­lege tu­ition set aside for our kids, and can take fam­ily va­ca­tions.

Our three sib­lings dropped out of col­lege, racked up debt, mar­ried and di­vorced mul­ti­ple times, com­pro­mised their health with al­co­hol and tobacco abuse and left jobs as soon as the work be­came tire­some. We never judge or lec­ture.

Lately, they keep bring­ing up how “lucky” my hus­band and I are to have all the se­cu­rity that we do, as if we didn’t earn it or make sac­ri­fices over many years to con­serve our re­sources.

We have gen­er­ously helped our sib­lings when­ever the need arose. I need a civil re­sponse when our sib­lings ac­cuse us of “ow­ing” them be­cause our cir­cum­stances are so much “luck­ier” than theirs. I want to show my kids that I am proud of what we have earned and saved with­out sound­ing un­sym­pa­thetic. — Sad Sis­ter in Sacra­mento

Dear Sis­ter: Peo­ple can be­come em­bit­tered by their lot in life and look to blame oth­ers when they can’t face up to their own re­spon­si­bil­ity in cre­at­ing the sit­u­a­tion. Your chil­dren can see the re­sults of this ev­ery day, so there’s no need to get into an ar­gu­ment.

In­stead, sim­ply say, “We’ve been for­tu­nate” — be­cause that is also true. And it shuts down the dis­cus­sion.

Dear An­nie: For the past two years, I have been in a re­la­tion­ship with the lady I thought would one day be my wife.

I have pam­pered her, even when she oc­ca­sion­ally would take weeks at a time to be alone or visit her fam­ily with­out me. She re­fused to move in with me, though I asked her to sev­eral times.

When she was laid off three months ago, she de­cided to move to the city where her daugh­ter lives, six hours away. She claims she wants to be in a long-dis­tance re­la­tion­ship. Am I wrong to con­sider her ac­tions self­ish? — Heart­bro­ken in Ne­braska

Dear Ne­braska: It is not sur­pris­ing that your girl­friend wants to live closer to her daugh­ter, es­pe­cially with no job to tether her.

But based on her past be­hav­iour, we’d say she doesn’t value the re­la­tion­ship as much as you do. Un­less you are both will­ing to travel fre­quently, this ro­mance is likely to fiz­zle. Sorry.

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