Annie: I'm no longer able to assist my son financially

Annie: I'm no longer able to assist my son financially ...

Annie: My son is 53 years old a decent person but an alcoholic. During his 10 years at Florida, I spent thousands of dollars to get him on his feet. I ended up failing to get him on his feet. He had gotten fired from three positions.

I kicked him out five years ago, claiming that he remained successful in obtaining his own place and was then fired again within three weeks of his arrival. I have told him that he cannot return in and that I cannot afford to assist him. I was not financially secure enough to help him in the first place.

There is a lot of guilt, but I know I did the right thing. Al-Anon provided a solid foundation. I will always worry about him, but enough already. -- Guilty but exhausted

Dear Guilty but Exhausted: You are not wrong. Boundaries are critical, especially with someone who takes more than they give. It will do no of you any good if you are (SET ITAL) both (END ITAL) broken and miserable.

Instead of helping him with money, please enthuse him to express your unconditional love and encourage him to continue attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. It is encouraging to hear that Al-Anon has found some connection.

Dear Annie, please share your thoughts on grief, and explain why grief is so important to some of the authors. Grief isn't a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith. It's the price of love. When our cat Buddy died, my spouse gave me this quote. He wasn't a human, but we were devastated for months. Coping.

Dear Coping: What a wonderful perspective on the value of grief in all of our lives. Thank you.

Annie says, "Sad, Hurt, and Frustrated" a friend who prefers his birthday to be ignored. "S, H & F," she says, "I just want to show my appreciation."

On the first Sunday of August every year, I suggest showing your appreciation. Send a card and telling your friend how happy you are with your friendship, and indicate a few of your friends qualities you appreciate the most. Make sure it is simple so it isn't too much for your friend. Perhaps a bit of recognition on a different day will be just the thing for each of you. Getting a Middle Ground is essential to finding a Middle Ground.

This sounds like a nice compromise. Celebrating National Friendship Day in such a way allows the love that "Sad, Hurt, and Frustrated" have for their friend to be expressed without the recipient feeling pressured or put on the spot.

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The second anthology of Annie Lane, which includes her favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication, and reconciliation, is available on paperback and e-book. Contact Annie Lane for more information.

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