Annie Lane: 13 years of bad luck

Published 6:30 am Wednesday, December 16, 2020

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Dear Annie: I’m confused about an issue that involves my husband. We have been separated for 13 years. We try to work things out all the time, but now, suddenly, he said I cheated on him. He also said that all I do is lie to him. He said he doesn’t want to listen to me when I tell him the truth. He listens to everybody else.

So, should I keep trying, or should I just get the divorce and move on with my life and find someone new? Please help me.

— Confused

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Dear Confused: The answer is pretty clear. After 13 years of what sounds like a toxic relationship, it is time to either commit to marriage counseling or to get divorced. Staying in limbo, continuing to accuse each other of cheating and fighting all the time is not healthy for anyone. Best of luck to you.

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Dear Annie: Please tell the parents who were confused or concerned about cellphone use to have their teens watch (with them, if possible) the documentary “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix. It explains the power of cellphone addiction and how it is ruining lives, making teens (and adults) depressed and anxious and contributing to the rise of hate groups.

The biggest threat is the undermining of democracy. Everyone should watch it. It is an eye-opener and will surely give teens more to think about when deciding on their own to use less screen time than just “cause mom and dad say so.”

— Cellphone Wary

Dear Cellphone Wary: This was a great movie — thanks for the recommendation! — though, I think some of the political messages could be considered controversial. Though there’s no dispute that social media and cellphones are incredibly distracting. Cellphones have been called “the new cigarettes” because they can be addictive and harmful.

• • •

Dear Annie: I have to share a gift. When my nephew got married, his future mother-in-law sat her daughter down and had a talk with her about her future mother-in-law. Her mom told her to be “nice and respectful” to her future mother-in-law.

Her mom told her this, because she has a daughter-in-law who does not treat her well. Unfortunately, I feel this story could be familiar for many mothers of sons. It is heartbreaking that so many families experience this. We never know when a loved one could be gone in a heartbeat. So, why are we acting this way?

I guess what really needs to be said is this: Talk to each other. Tell each other what you like and don’t like. Engage in a relationship. Life is work; let’s make it productive and pleasant for as many as we can.

Thank you for listening; I love your column for what you write, mainly because of your openness to other viewpoints.

— Mother-in-Law

Dear Mother-in-Law: Your letter highlights a very important rule; namely, the golden one. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. When we live like this, the world shines a little brighter.

“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