I have read your column for some years now and admire your commonsense advice. It would be nice to know if you have received any follow-up letters to let you know how your advice has helped.
A big thank you for your great service to others.
Cheryl, thank you for making such a wise suggestion. We are so used to hearing the rest of the story, we forget that readers don't know the follow-up.
This is what the author of the letter in last week's column wrote after receiving our advice. "Thanks so much for taking the time and walking me through this mess. Your analysis and insights showed me how immature I am. I now get to know myself better, and hopefully, can transform myself into a better man."
You may remember a column in March from a successful businessman. The original letter was 900 words long and our reply to him over 700 words, but since each column is 650 words long, we had to condense a lot. The problem was this writer's wife spent a huge amount on clothes each month, did a minimal amount of parenting and swiped some of his pain medications.
We showed him what he couldn't see: his wife was showing classic junkie behavior. He didn't believe us, though he sent a cursory thank-you anyway. Five weeks later we received this email.
"Hi Wayne & Tamara. For your information, my wife admitted yesterday she is a drug addict. WE are seeking help and taking appropriate steps to assess her current condition, detox if necessary, and then move forward back to normalcy.
"I wanted to send you this note as thanks and as a compliment to your correct assessment of both her and my awareness of the problem. You were absolutely correct about my wife being an addict and correct about me as well, not seeing or wanting to think that my wife was a drug addict and being 10 steps behind her.
"I thank you again, but if you remember my first response was, Wow!
"I did not believe you then, but I do now."
When we told a woman involved with the wrong man that along with our advice we were going to give her a verbal smack, she replied, "Thank you for saying it like it is. 🙂 Have a great weekend!" From a serviceman in the Middle East with a family problem we got this. "Thank you again for your help, and I hope you can continue to help people throughout life."
A teenager with a family dilemma told us how she would follow up on our advice. She concluded with, "Thank you both so very much. This definitely helped me out a lot. It all made sense and I really appreciate it."
Another woman wrote, "Many years ago, I wrote the email below to you. Rereading the email now, it is easy to remember the desperation I felt. I wrote and rewrote that email a dozen times. Thanks for the great advice you offered then and continue to offer today."
A man with problems in his extended family wrote, "Wow. I really needed to hear that. Just reading your advice makes me feel a sense of relief and gives me confidence. Thank you very much for taking the time to read and understand my long and confusing letter. Thank you!"
A woman who needed help with her wedding plans wrote, "I recently realized I never thanked you for your advice. It was point on." A gay man gaining the courage to break off his engagement said, "You have saved my ex-girlfriend's life and mine, as without you, I would have married her and gone on for years with this secret."
Cheryl, we could go on and on with the thanks we have received. It is the most satisfying part of writing the column.
~ Wayne & Tamara
Column for the week of May 26, 2014
Send letters to: [email protected] , or Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield MO 65801.