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Readers weigh in on shared experiences

Updated: July 19, 2013 3:26PM

We recently met Time Traveler, who says he dreamt of a woman he believes he met in previous lives — and didn’t know what to do.

MARTY: Time Traveler sounds a lot like me at his age. While I don’t believe in past lives, I did have a dream about a woman. Then I met a woman shortly thereafter who looked exactly like her. The resemblance was startling. I suppose my dream was of an idealized woman, and she fit the bill.

I met her at a church get-together. She was the friend of another girl I know. We seemed to hit it off, but only in a casual way. When I mentioned that I wanted a more serious relationship, she was reluctant. That should have been a clue. The problem, of course, is that I wasn’t the guy she was dreaming of.

I eventually found out that she was seeing someone else. On top of that, he was abusive — I didn’t know that until years later — and she was afraid of him. But she still didn’t feel as strongly toward me as I did toward her. Lesson learned.

We recently heard from Anna, a young wife whose mother-in-law insisted on having her and her husband Bill for dinner once a week. She served them “vegetables cooked to mush and a main dish swimming in grease.”

“My mother-in-law was struggling financially,” Anna wrote, “and the only reason she insisted on feeding two extra people was control.”

The last straw for Anna was when Bill and his mother removed all her things from her home. After she divorced him, Bill moved back with his mother, who died soon after.

“I wasn’t surprised. Every meal she cooked was a heart attack on a plate.” Kelly knows what it’s like to have meddling in-laws.

KELLY: My husband’s siblings and their kids are like a bad high school clique where I’m not invited to join. Through the years, my husband has been told which of their financial needs he is expected to cover. He’s paid for hospital bills, totaled and used cars, utility bills, school clothes, nail spa visits, cigarettes and even a funeral.

He’s helped them move, and when he didn’t have a truck, he tied the furniture to the roof of our car. When I said anything, he invariably said, “But we’re family.”

Did I forget to mention that he’s never seen a dime of this money? Did I also mention the concept of a “job” does not fit into any of their life equations? I think they should consider the profession of acting: They can wring out a tragedy better than anyone I’ve ever seen.

Because of them, our marriage broke up for four years. During that time, my husband filed for bankruptcy. In order for me to get back together with him, we agreed that my finances and my car would stay in my own name. As far as they’re concerned, I try very hard to pretend they’re invisible.

If Jerry Springer had a finder’s fee I could make a fortune.

Are you a liberal married to a conservative or vice-versa? How’s that working for you? Send your taleto cheryllavin

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