Posted: Thursday, January 29, 2009 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: My fiancé, “Ryan,” talks to his ex-wife daily. He even set a romantic love song as the ring tone for her incoming calls. He deletes her text messages so I can’t see them. I found out he still lets her charge merchandise on his accounts, although she pays him back. Ryan claims he isn’t hiding anything and is simply concerned for her. He says he only keeps secrets out of respect for me.
Ryan and his ex were married for 10 years and have no children. Annie, I was married to my ex for 26 years and we have children and grandchildren, yet I speak to him only when it concerns one of the kids and never more than once a month.
Ryan says his ex was jealous and possessive and hated his friends. They never went anywhere because she’d fly off the handle if she thought he was looking at another woman. They only did things she wanted to do. She didn’t want him to spend money unless it was for her. She sounds like someone who deserves to be alone. She has children from a previous marriage, but even they don’t help her out. Am I wrong to want the phone calls, texts and charges to his account to stop? — Crazy or Not?
Dear Not Crazy: Ryan is playing games, not only with you but with his ex-wife, encouraging her to depend on him. He can be concerned for her welfare without calling every day and hiding her incoming texts from you. He is not being honest, and we don’t recommend you marry him until both of you get some premarital counseling and sort this out.
Dear Annie: One of my cousins got married two years ago. She invited me to her wedding shower and I brought a gift, but I never received an invitation to the wedding. I thought it was an oversight and said nothing. A year later, her brother got engaged and the same thing happened.
Last fall, my uncle got married and even sent me a “save the date” card for the wedding. But again, after the shower, no invitation arrived for the wedding. My feelings are extremely hurt. It seems rude to invite someone to the shower (and receive a gift), but not the wedding. So I guess my question is, is this acceptable etiquette these days? — Confused in Toledo
Dear Toledo: Absolutely not. No one should be invited to a shower unless they are also invited to the wedding. Exceptions can include a shower given for a co-worker, or showers given for couples that elope or have immediate-family only weddings. We hope you at least received thank-you notes for your gifts.
Dear Annie: I feel compelled to reply to “Not Having Fun in N.C.,” who said the pizzazz is gone from his marriage. I was happily married for 35 years to the most wonderful woman on earth and would like to offer a few suggestions. I discovered my wife and I were both in the same rut — and we had furnished it and moved in. Our marriage was not aging gracefully, and it was time for a change.
We both went for a complete physical. I had a hot bath waiting for my wife when she came home from work and then I cooked dinner. We had a romantic meal by candlelight, and then we talked about what each of us could do to rejuvenate our relationship. We BOTH became part of the solution.
Sadly for me, my wife passed away after a three-year battle with cancer. I was so very privileged to have known her. Life is too short not to keep the romance alive. — No Regrets in Sarasota, Fla.
Dear Sarasota: Our deepest condolences. It sounds like you and your wife had an extremely loving relationship. We hope others who feel they are in a rut will understand that marriage takes work but is well worth the effort.
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 1.29.09