Posted: Friday, July 11, 2008 6:41 pm
Dear Annie: I have been married to “Jack” for 35 years. In the beginning, it was OK and I thought that was good enough.
Jack’s parents struggled to support their family, whereas my parents were very well off. Jack has often told people, “I married her for the money.” This is a very painful thing to hear, yet he continues to say it and people continue to tell me when he does.
We have two children and he is a wonderful father, but he definitely lacks in the husband department. He often tells me I am stupid or ignores me, and when we have disagreements, he calls me not very nice names. Sex is almost nonexistent. I’m pretty sure he has someone else on the side because he’s had affairs in the past.
My friends tell me this is emotional abuse and I should not have to live this way. I have a friend named “Mike.” Right now, we are just friends. We talk and enjoy each other’s company. He has been my rock for several years. I discovered several months ago that Mike is in love with me and wants me to divorce Jack. On several occasions, he has hinted so to Jack, which only causes more problems that I don’t need. The thing is, I’ve fallen in love with Mike. He respects me and loves me, and being with him is much better than OK. I believe he is my soul mate.
My oldest child will be very angry with both her father and me if we divorce. She knows how miserable we are but doesn’t care. She wants us to stay together no matter what. “Make it work,” she says. I don’t want to upset my children, but they are adults. Isn’t it time for me to have happiness? — Lost and Confused
Dear Lost: Whether or not to stay with your husband is not a decision for your children to make. However, if you want to have no regrets, we strongly urge you to get counseling, with or without Jack, so both you and your children will know you tried your best to “make it work.”
Dear Annie: Please settle an argument about shower and wedding gifts. Some brides register for shower gifts that are equivalent to a wedding gift ($150 and up). Then when we receive the wedding invitation, the couple doesn’t want a gift, they want money.
These couples are having large, elaborate weddings when they have no money to pay for it and request that you give them enough to pay for the cost of your meal so they are not out-of-pocket on anything. You are informed that it is $125-$150 a plate, and by the way, they invited 250 people.
I would appreciate knowing what the protocol is so we can end our family argument. — Broke in Connecticut
Dear Broke: Nice shakedown going on. You are not obligated to give a gift from a registry. It is only a recommendation. You are never obligated to give a wedding gift that is more than you can afford, nor are you supposed to pay for the cost of your meal. Wedding expenses are whatever the bride and groom decide to pay for, and guests give whatever they choose. Period.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Redding, Calif.,” whose 60-year-old husband has befriended a “lovely young woman” who confides in him, cries on his shoulder and even has him drive her to doctor appointments. He claims to be a father figure to her, but he was never so involved in his children’s lives. Thank you for saying he should knock it off.
I had a very similar experience with my husband. He befriended a much younger woman who had a pretty bad life and he helped her out a lot. I thought he was being a good guy and had no problem with it. He is now married to her. — Indianapolis
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, 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 7.11.08