Dear Annie: I’ve been married to “Beth” for 18 months. We have our ups and downs, but it’s a solid marriage.
Beth is close friends with “Chuck,” a man she dated back in high school. He’s a good guy whom I trust and respect, but sometimes I’m a bit uncomfortable with their friendship and how close they are.
To make matters worse, about a week ago I came across Beth’s cell phone and the text inbox was open. I noticed a few notes from Chuck, saying he would do anything for her. He addressed her as “Babe.” I wanted to be sure I wasn’t misreading the context of these messages, so I delved deeper. Unfortunately, her messages to him had the same tone. In one, she texted about being naked in the bathtub, and in another, she mentioned a sex dream she had about him.
When I questioned Beth, she shrugged it off and said nothing was going on between them. I do trust them both, but I feel these messages are inappropriate and neither one should be flirting this way. Am I way off base? — Hurt and Confused
Dear Hurt: Beth lost our sympathy when she sent text messages about having sex dreams and being naked in the tub. This type of flirting isn’t harmless because it deliberately gives the impression that she’s interested in more than friendship. She may not intend to cheat, but it is disrespectful to you and your marriage to make the ex-boyfriend (or anyone else) think she is looking around. Tell her to knock it off.
Dear Annie: We have a lovely 7-year-old grandson. My daughter-in-law had in vitro fertilization, as she couldn’t conceive and was approaching 40. The problem is, when he reaches the age of 13, she wants to explain the procedure to our grandson and tell him that although his dad is his biological father, technically, she is not his mother.
I am against this. It is bad enough to tell children they are adopted. After I was told I was adopted (and I loved my parents), down deep, it was never the same for me. In vitro mothers are a whole new ballgame. Many girls donate eggs for the money. There is no bond. The donor has no interest in meeting her child.
Am I wrong to discourage my daughter-in-law from telling the boy? He is a very sensitive child. — Mom-in-Law Meaning Well
Dear Mom-in-Law: Yes, you are wrong. We realize your adoption experience is coloring your feelings on the subject, but it’s up to the parents whether or not to give their child this information. We will say, however, that since others know the boy was conceived through IVF, it is only a matter of time before someone spills the beans, so it’s best if the child learns his origins from his parents as soon as he can understand. Also, at some point, your grandson is entitled to have his genetic information. If you want to help your son and daughter-in-law with this process, suggest they contact Resolve (resolve.org) at 1-888-623-0744.
Dear Annie: Your answer to “One Foot Out the Door” was from outer space. If my husband brought in an extra $6,000 by donating sperm or anything else, I’d throw a party.
We went through a tough financial time a few years ago, so I donated blood. I didn’t make $6,000, but I did make enough to buy groceries, Christmas presents and treat myself twice to a spa day. No, I did not tell my husband about it. I don’t bother him for every detail of his life, and I don’t tell him every detail of mine. You should have told “One Foot” to get over it. — Sarah
Dear Sarah: You were short of money so you treated yourself to a spa day? Twice? They don’t pay for blood anymore, but we think when someone is donating bodily fluids and fathering children, the spouse should be aware of it.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 6.3.08