Posted: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: My husband, “Joe,” and I have been having minor problems recently, and I finally got him to open up about what is bothering him. Big mistake! He told me he wants a divorce.
I was completely blindsided. I asked him why he would want to leave me and the only thing he could say was that we have nothing in common except our daughter. Annie, is that a real reason to want a divorce?
Joe said he doesn’t like the person I am. I told him that was HIS problem, to which he agreed. He then added that he has stuck around this long only because he couldn’t afford to move out.
I know I haven’t been the greatest wife. I’m not a very good cook, I hate to clean and I’d prefer to spend Saturday in my jammies reading a good book. Apparently all of this makes Joe unhappy. But I love this man, and I tell him often. I have accepted him for who he is, even when he irritates me, so shouldn’t he learn to accept me the way I am? How am I going to survive this? — Dumped and Dumbfounded
Dear Dumped: Most men don’t leave their wives because of the cooking and housekeeping. Do you communicate? How is your sex life? A good marriage takes effort and requires that each partner wishes to make the other happy. It sounds as if you two are living parallel lives with little interaction and no interest in creating a supportive relationship. Ask Joe to go with you for counseling so both of you can learn how to make your marriage better before you give up. Do it for your daughter.
Dear Annie: Is there a rule about how much to give a couple as a monetary gift at their wedding? I’m getting married soon and I understand attendees shouldn’t be expected to give more than they can afford. But as couples are getting married later in life, they are also cleaning out their own savings in order to have a nice celebration. Times are tough for us, too. Parents don’t always foot the bill, and even with the best budgeting bride a nice reception easily runs at $50 per plate.
I was recently at a wedding where two guests gave the couple $25 each. This seems like an insult rather than a gift. The couple must have spent a lot more than that per plate. With good food, liquor and dancing, why would anyone think it’s OK to give such a small gift? — Broke Bride-to-Be
Dear Bride: Oh, dear. You have confused “guest” with “customer.” The wedding you choose to give, no matter the cost, is up to you. Your guests are not selecting the liquor, food and music. You are inviting them because you want their company at your celebration — not so they will reimburse you for your expenses. Those attending a wedding should give an appropriate gift of their choosing, and you should entertain them in a manner you can afford. Yes. Really.
Dear Annie: I must respond to your advice to “Charlotte, N.C.,” who was having difficulty enjoying Bunco night when it was held at “Nancy’s” home and her 8-year-old child participated in the evening’s activities.
Why would you advise “Charlotte” to conduct inappropriate conversations in front of the child to teach her mother a lesson? She and her friends need to get some backbone and take Nancy aside and discuss this issue with her (which was your other suggestion). If they can’t bring themselves to do that, they should not attend.
If they are concerned about hurting Nancy’s feelings, it would seem that not showing up would be much more insulting. — Honesty Is Best
Dear Honesty: We weren’t recommending some kind of vulgar conversation, only normal adult talk that would bore Nancy’s child and still allow the others to have a good time. But you are right that they should find the courage to discuss it with Nancy, which is what we recommended in the first place.
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 1.20.09