Posted: Friday, July 3, 2009 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: Two months ago, I was looking at my wife’s cell phone because I needed a new one and wanted to see if hers was better. I was not looking for anything. Isn’t that always the case?
I ended up on her mobile Facebook site. I knew she had become reacquainted with her longtime high-school boyfriend, and I was cool with it. I am friends with a bunch of women from past relationships. Well, I stumbled upon a conversation that went from normal to questionable very quickly. She told him to call when I was not around. He responded, saying he was going to send her some photos.
I confronted her in an easygoing way, and she told me they barely spoke and I’m crazy to think otherwise. When I told her I saw their conversation, she freaked. Then she showed me the photo he sent — it was of him in ladies’ underwear. I asked her to “de-friend” this guy and she refused, saying she didn’t want him to feel she was judging him. A month went by and I asked whether they had been in contact. She said “no,” but acted oddly, so I checked her phone again. Sure enough, they are still talking.
She won’t go for counseling. I have asked many times because we have communication issues. I wish I could find a way to articulate how this situation has made me feel without looking like a jerk. — I Wear Boxers in Massachusetts
Dear Boxers: The fact that this man is a cross-dresser should be irrelevant, but sending intimate photos is out of bounds. Most cross-dressers are straight, and such communication could be a way for this man to get some sexual thrills. Your wife should not be encouraging it or doing it behind your back. Since you already have communication issues, counseling is a good idea, and as always, if she won’t go, go without her.
Dear Annie: My husband used to be nice to have a conversation with. Now he gets angry and loud and has a sharp answer for everything. He yells at me in public and his comments are very hurtful. He refuses to celebrate holidays.
Could he be going through some health problems, or is he just changing as he gets older? He comes from a very angry family, and I wonder whether this is genetic. His sister is hateful toward her husband, and his father treats his mother shamefully. Everyone tells me to leave him because he is so verbally abusive, but I love him and want to help. — Need Guidance in Ohio
Dear Ohio: There could be a genetic component, although it’s just as likely it’s learned behavior from growing up in such a dysfunctional family. Still, a change in demeanor can indicate a medical problem, so it would be wise for him to get a complete checkup, and you should suggest this for his general health. Before the appointment, alert the doctor to the behavioral problem because your husband is apt to stay mum on the subject.
Dear Annie: Your response to “Wife of a Sneak” sucked. She discovered her husband had been going to strip clubs and getting lap dances. Why didn’t you ask her what the women in the strip clubs were doing for her husband that she wasn’t? I don’t believe for a moment he would have been in such a place if he found at home what he found in a strip club. — Patrick in Stockton, Calif.
Dear Patrick: Oh, please. This usually has nothing to do with what’s at home. Strip clubs can fulfill an ego fantasy for a guy who wants to have a variety of attractive, naked women fawning all over him. It makes him feel important and powerful. And insecure men often prefer professional women because they don’t care if the guy is unattractive, inept or disappointing as long as he has money.
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 7.3.09