Dear Annie: I’ve been married two years, and we are moving into our first home next month.
Since our wedding, we have not bought a single piece of furniture. Everything we own is either something I already had, something handed down, or my husband somehow got it for free.
I tolerated this while living in our apartment, but I always dreamed of finally having furniture that we picked out ourselves, that matches and that I actually like.
I know we won’t be able to purchase everything we need right away, and that’s OK. I’d rather sit on the floor for a few months than move our hideous couches and mismatched lamps into the new home. My husband is perfectly fine with all we own, especially since we didn’t spend any money on it, and he doesn’t see the need to replace it.
Can I tell my husband that I will not permit anything other than our bed to be moved into the new place? He isn’t attached to our furniture. He just thinks I’m being unreasonable. Am I? — Want Stuff To Call My Own in North Carolina
Dear N.C.: Not at all. Many men are content with whatever they can sit on and don’t care whether things match or reflect taste of any kind. If you can afford to purchase new furniture, you should do so. But move a few old pieces into your new home — enough so that your husband doesn’t feel uncomfortable and your guests don’t have to sit on the floor — and as you replace them with new ones, donate any still-usable items to charity.
Dear Annie: I am a 14-year-old high school freshman, and I recently discovered evidence that my father is having an affair. My parents have been married for 15 years, and though things are a bit rocky, they seem to get along. The problem is, my father has cheated on my mom before. I know I shouldn’t have snooped into his private e-mails, but I couldn’t help it. So, what should I do? — Curiosity Killed the Cat
Dear Cat: Talk to your father about what you found. Apologize for snooping, but tell him that his behavior affects you and you don’t want to stress over the possibility that your parents’ marriage is in trouble. You also can discuss this with your school counselor. And please stop snooping. Sometimes you find things you don’t want to know.
Dear Annie: In the past several months, you have printed several letters from readers who “caught” their spouses corresponding with others on the Internet and fear their partners are being unfaithful.
My wife goes to bed much earlier than I do, and since there is rarely anything decent on TV, I started logging on to the computer. At first I played solitaire and checked my e-mails, but then I discovered chat rooms. I don’t go to any pornographic or sexually oriented rooms, but I found that I really enjoyed interacting with others online.
One evening, my wife woke up while I was in a political chat room. She immediately became suspicious, and even though I assured her nothing prurient was going on, she became upset and demanded, “Who is that? Is that a woman? Have you met her?”
Annie, I never exchange individual e-mails with any of these folks. Most of the time, I have no idea whether they are male or female. I have never given my wife a reason to think I might cheat, yet I realize she must be terribly insecure. Since we have an otherwise happy and loving relationship, I’ve simply given up the computer after she goes to bed. As for other couples, I would please ask them to recognize most chat rooms are perfectly innocent. — Chatterbox
Dear Chatterbox: There are a lot of decent and educational chat rooms, and as long as your wife is welcome to look at anything on your computer at any time, she should not have cause to worry.
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 on 10.18.07