Annie Lane: Communication is key to a happy marriage

Published 6:30 am Saturday, August 1, 2020

Dear Annie: I love my wife very much and try to be a good husband. However, my wife has an explosive temper. Whenever she is mad at me, she punishes me by not speaking to me. This time, she has not spoken to me for almost a week. On the other hand, she can talk to her friends on the phone for hours. What should I do? I am exasperated.

—  Out of Ideas

Dear Out of Ideas: The silent treatment is bad medicine. It leaves wounds to fester when they could heal. Implore your wife to seek marriage counseling with you as soon as you’re able.  It is imperative for the health of your marriage.

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Dear Annie: Your answer to “Confused” was good as far as it went but I think you are missing another very important issue here. This guy’s behavior on the job is legally wrong. He is lucky he hasn’t gotten into serious trouble before now. Especially, for being a 50-year-old man hitting on a 20-something woman. If he keeps that up, I would be very surprised if someone didn’t lodge a complaint to human resources against him. If someone hasn’t explained to him by now that his behavior borders on sexual harassment, then they should have. If no one else clues him in, then his wife definitely should. It is downright creepy that a guy in his 50s is hitting on someone young enough to be his daughter. I wish there had been a movement against that kind of behavior when I was that age.

—  Suzie

Dear Suzie: True: I only considered it from the wife’s perspective. You’ve raised another troubling aspect of the situation. These young women may well be as uncomfortable about the texts as is his wife. And though it’s not anyone else’s responsibility to teach him basic decency, perhaps your letter will inform him —  and others —  of the effect of his behavior. Let’s hope he shows more respect to everyone involved.

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Dear Annie: When I was 12, my father taught me how to mow the lawn. We would first clear the yard, sidewalks and curb of any trash or other debris. He showed me how to start the mower and how to walk behind it and safely use it. Afterward, we raked the lawn (no grass catcher on the mower). Then we would sweep the curb, street and sidewalk and bag up all the clippings. After this, we would then water the lawn and rinse off the curb. He explained that a clean curb would help water flow to the sewer drain. When fall would come, it was time for leaf removal. We would rake leaves and bag them up to set out for the trash collectors.

Forty years later, I still use the same regimen. I am appalled by commercial and residential lawn caretakers who blow all the clippings in the street or at the curb. It is so disturbing to me to see curbs that have grass, weeds, paper and debris of all kinds. When it rains, it floods because the water can’t flow down to the sewers. The debris clogs the curbs. This letter is to appeal to everyone who mows lawns and blows leaves to please do not blow them in the street or curbs. Bag it up and set it out for recycling.

—  Father Knew Best

Dear FKB: Leaving yard waste in the street is impolite and, in many cities, illegal. In addition to clogging storm drains, it can become slick and endanger cyclists and pedestrians. Avoid incurring fines and your neighbors’ wrath: Sweep and bag up your clippings.

“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book —  featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette —  is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to