Annie Lane: Communication needed for the future

Published 6:30 am Saturday, October 31, 2020

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Dear Annie: I am in a relationship with a guy. He always talks about us getting married and having kids. We have been together close to a year. My problem is that whenever I’ve tried to discuss serious topics with him such as our views on sex, religion, finances and more, he brushes my questions aside and insists that our getting married is the most important thing; these other issues will work themselves out. I don’t want to enter into marriage with someone who shares different views on these fundamental matters, as it can cause divorce in the future.

I have doubts about him for other reasons, too. He acts indifferent when around me and does not really show care and attention for me. He sometimes tells me that he loves me so much and that is why he wants us to get married quickly. I feel he just wants someone to take care of him — do his cooking, laundry, etc.

I like this man, but his refusal for us to talk about these important issues scares me into getting fully committed. What should I do?

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— Strained Communication

Dear Strained: Religious beliefs, finances and the rest are all important topics to raise before marriage, as you wisely note. You don’t need to align perfectly in every department, but you do need to at least discuss them. The fact that he refuses to do so is a giant, billowing red flag. If I may act as a microphone to that little voice in your head: Run, run, as fast as you can.

• • •

Dear Annie: Recently, you printed a letter from “What to Do,” an older couple who are facing cancer treatment with no immediate family nearby. In times like these, I know that it is hard to trust strangers, but my heart pours out for them. Would you please share the following message with them?

To the husband: I will pray for your strength in the many new roles that you will face day by day and hour by hour. I will pray that God will give you the courage to allow yourself some quiet time each day to focus on your health. You must take care of yourself, if you expect to take care of her.

To the wife: I will pray for your medical team to give you the best treatment and care. And I will pray that you will have a strong determination during this journey; on the good days, be thankful, and on the bad days, focus on the good days ahead with your caring husband.

If trusting neighbors and friends offer to help, please let them. It will bring them joy to help you.

My mother fought a fierce battle with cancer in her late 70s, which included an extensive surgery and mega doses of chemotherapy and radiation. She decided to focus on getting better so that she could return to gardening. She thought about what she would be doing at the same time next year in her garden.

For three or four years after her battle with cancer, she had the most beautiful gardens. The blooms on the crookneck squash looked like giant yellow trumpets. This process of going from cancer to the garden was not easy, but it made each of us realize that each day is truly a gift whether it is raining, storming, hailing, or filled with blue skies. May God keep you in his healing and powerful hands.

— Linda

Dear Linda: I found your letter so moving and uplifting that I wanted to share it with all of my readers. Thank you.

“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