Dear Ann Landers: My husband and I have been married for 12 years. We have two children, an 11-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son. Both have been involved in sports since first grade, mostly soccer and basketball. The problem is my husband. He has very high expectations of our children's performance in sports. He lectures them before the game, tells them what to do during the game and criticizes them afterward. He screams so much, his voice becomes hoarse. He made both kids cry when he was assistant coach for my daughter's basketball team last season, and had several outbursts, including swearing. One embarrassing performance resulted in a stern warning from the referee.
My husband behaves this way only when sports are involved, but I cannot deal with this much longer. He thinks I am crazy and says I don't understand because I never played team sports.
-- Desperate in the Northeast
Dear Northeast: Your husband is not going to change, nor will he turn down the volume, so you must learn to protect yourself and your children against his outbursts. Play deaf, and instruct your children to do the same. Just let him scream his foolish head off. One of these days, his doctor is going to say something to him about his ulcers or his high blood pressure, and then he will have to listen.
Stiffed and steaming
Dear Ann Landers: I am writing to ask for the proper way to deal with neighbors and friends who attend joyous celebrations and never send a gift.
Our daughter was married several weeks ago. The wedding was elegant -- a full smorgasbord and five-course dinner, with a choice of red or white wine. We had a 12-piece band and flowers everywhere. There were 400 guests.
We were surprised at the number of people who attended but did not send a gift. Among them was the daughter of our next-door neighbors, for whom we purchased a very expensive gift last year when she was married.
Our son's wedding will be coming up in three months, and we are preparing a list of friends and family members to be invited. I told my wife that under no circumstances should we invite the cheapskates who did not send a wedding gift to our daughter. Am I justified? We are having arguments about this.
-- Stiffed in Monsey
Dear Monsey: You can't do anything about "those cheapskates," but you can do something about your anger. Get over it. You don't invite people to share the joyous occasions of your life so they will send gifts. You invite them because you want them to share your joy. Stop arguing with your wife about this. Your attitude is terrible.
All in the family
Dear Ann Landers: I always read the obituaries in the Dayton Daily News, and came across something recently that I thought was rather strange. I'll change the names because I don't want to embarrass anyone, but it went like this: "Mr. X is survived by his wife, two daughters, three grandchildren and a cat named Sam, which he had for 11 years." Do you think it was appropriate to put this in the death notice?
-- Former Neighbor in Xenia, Ohio
Dear Neighbor: I have never seen a pet mentioned in a death notice before, but maybe they do things differently in Xenia, Ohio -- and I have no problem with that. I hope Sam was happy in his new home.
Write to Ann at The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y. 14240.