Annie Lane: My sanity is holding on by a thread

Published 5:50 pm Friday, June 10, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Dear Annie: I have been with my fiance for the last five years. We have a child together, and she is going on 2 years old. Well, when our child was four months old, my fiance quit his job due to his health, and I went back to work full time. It’s been over a year now, and he’s been cleared to work. But he hasn’t. He hasn’t even attempted to find a job.

In order to make sure our bills are paid, I have had to take on two full-time jobs. I’m exhausted all the time. I try talking to him, but he always says he will look, and he does but gives up very fast. He complains I’m never home. He complains that I go to bed too early. But what do you expect? I work over 80 hours a week!

I try to give him as much of a break from our child as I can when I get home, but I am starting to resent him a bit. I never have any time to work on anything. I need advice. What do I do? I know he has underlying depression but won’t seek help.

Email newsletter signup

— About to Lose My Mind

Dear About to Lose: You’re in the middle of the ultimate lose-lose-lose situation. Your fiance isn’t just failing to provide financially for the family; he’s also nowhere near the right headspace to be a partner or father, either. You, the sole breadwinner, are beyond exhausted, growing bitter and missing out on the joys of being a mom because you’re holding up everything around you. Added together, it equals bad news for your daughter, who deserves a functional, loving, fulfilling family life.

After two years of treading water, it’s time for a major sit-down with your fiance. He must start work again immediately, at least something part-time to start, so that you can cut back from two full-time jobs to one. Some type of counseling is a must for you both, to tackle his depression and to get your marriage back on the right track. You can no longer be the only one fighting for your family. Now, it’s his turn.

• • •

Dear Annie: What is the proper etiquette for knocking or constantly wiggling at the knob of a public restroom when the door is clearly locked? I am having this issue at my place of employment. I find it awkward that people do this when the door is clearly locked.

I usually don’t stay long in public restrooms, and if I hear someone trying to open the door or knock, I try to get out quickly. I know it is polite to answer, but why should I have to answer when the locked door clearly indicates someone is in the bathroom? On one occasion, a person attempted to use a key to get in, and in a panic, I got up, flushed, and she stopped, but I wonder if she would have entered. Isn’t this breaking a privacy policy? As I left, she looked away. I held back from addressing her because I was upset and didn’t want to say anything inappropriate.

What are your thoughts?

— Royal Flush

Dear Royal Flush: The most polite way to approach a potentially occupied bathroom stall is to briefly knock. As you’ve mentioned, the jiggling of a doorknob may make a bathroom-goer uncomfortable, or worse, could expose one who forgot to lock themselves into privacy.

If you say loudly, “Occupied!” or “Someone’s in here!”, there won’t be any chance that a co-worker will try to use a key, thinking that the bathroom is empty.

Since you said that you are having this issue at work, you might want to ask HR or someone in charge of the office to give the staff a friendly reminder about restroom rules.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to