Dear Annie: Husband doesn’t want me talking to my family

Dear Annie: My husband tells me that I’m cheating on him by talking to my friends and family. He talks to people on the phone who I don’t even know, but I don’t ever worry about it or get on his case about it. What can I do? — Needing Help in Virginia

Dear Needing Help: Your husband’s controlling attitude is not just toxic but may constitute emotional abuse. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, two hallmarks of abusive behavior are showing extreme jealousy and preventing and discouraging you from spending time with friends, family members or peers. I encourage you to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233 or chat with someone via their website ( for further perspective as well as resources. Partners are meant to lift each other up.

Dear Annie: The letter from “Sad Mom” (regarding her son’s upcoming wedding, to which she is not invited due to coronavirus precautions) struck a chord with me.

My son and his then-fiancee in 2013 decided to marry in Alaska and had only the immediate wedding party in attendance. They wanted to keep it small, and families were not invited. Not my choice, but it was what they wanted, and we respected their wishes and sent champagne and good vibes.

Several months later, we held a party for them, and those who couldn’t go to Alaska were able to celebrate. This is not unlike what is happening now, in so many quarters. Parties can be delayed but important life events still must occur.

The most positive and loving thing “Sad Mom” can do is to focus on the fact that her son has found someone he loves and to celebrate and honor that. It is time for them to take this step as a couple and for themselves. For “Sad Mom” to focus on her feelings is to add to the stress over the decisions they are forced to make and to bring heaviness to their wedding day. Giving the couple open and full support will be appreciated by the couple for years to come and will give them a model of good parenting of adult children. — Missed the Wedding But Love the Couple

Dear Love the Couple: Your signature says it all. I appreciate your perspective and positivity.

Dear Annie: Your advice to “Strained Communication” was perfect: “Run, run, as fast as you can.” Our son married a charmer who wanted to get married quickly. She had a great reputation and nice family, but things aren’t always as they seem. Shortly after marriage, we began to see the real person who was extremely controlling, crying uncontrollably, emotional meltdowns/tantrums and vindictive behavior, just to name a few bad behaviors. She ruined every holiday, family get-together and vacation we had as a family. No doubt, she has a mental issue, but she was refusing to try and improve herself, and, instead, blaming everyone else. Please, please don’t marry quickly. In our situation, she had to get married before we saw the real person; otherwise, the marriage never would have happened. Our son and family learned the hard way. They’ve since split up. — Wiser in Tennessee

Dear Wiser: I appreciate your sharing the wisdom, though I’m sorry to hear how it was earned.

“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 [email protected]


Read more advice:

Ask Amy: Separated soulmates are eager to connect

Dear Annie: Looking to hop off the hamster wheel

Dear Abby: Children cut off stepmother with dad’s power of attorney

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