Posted: Tuesday, August 4, 2009 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: My wife and I have been together since high school. We have been married 17 years and have two boys, one 20 and the other 14. One night, my wife admitted that when she was in high school, she had sex with a teacher. This teacher married one of his students, although when he was later fired for reportedly taking advantage of his female students, she divorced him.
Eight years have passed since then, and this man is now a teacher at the same school where my wife works. Two friends independently told me they saw my wife kissing this man and watched the two of them walk into the washroom together. When I confronted my wife, she confessed to the kissing but said they never had sex. I find that hard to believe.
I no longer trust my wife and get very angry when I’m near her. I want a divorce, but I grew up without a father and would hate to leave my 14-year-old because I worry what will happen to him. My wife insists there is nothing going on, yet refuses to transfer to another school. She doesn’t want a divorce. Please give me some advice. — Saskatchewan, Canada
Dear Canada: Get counseling immediately, and tell your wife if she wants to save the marriage, she must go with you. She is behaving foolishly and disrespectfully and either doesn’t recognize how damaging that is or doesn’t care. We are astonished this man was given another teaching position, and if their affair (or whatever it is) becomes known to the administration, they could both be fired. One of them has to leave the school or your marriage is over.
Dear Annie: My boyfriend and I just bought our first home. It’s the first time we will be living independently since college. We’d like to have a housewarming party, but I don’t want our friends or family members to feel obligated to bring gifts when we just want to celebrate our new home with them.
However, knowing our friends, some of them will insist on bringing gifts anyway. My boyfriend and I work at a well-known retail chain and get sizable discounts. Is there a polite way to suggest that if they insist on bringing something, gift cards to our store would be appreciated? — New Homeowners
Dear New: Yes and no. You cannot put it in an invitation. If someone asks, you can reiterate that no gift is necessary or expected, but if they insist, you can recommend the gift cards. You also can inform one or two close friends or family members of your preference, and they can pass the word.
Dear Annie: My heart goes out to “Wish I Could Turn Back Time in N.J.,” the mother of the paralyzed teen. As a person with a spinal cord injury, I offer the following suggestions:
Contact the New Jersey Statewide Independent Living Council (njsilc.org) for a list of independent living centers in the area. All states have centers for independent living (CILs) that receive federal funding and are mandated to provide four core services, including peer support, skills training, information and referral, and advocacy. Her CIL should also be able to help find respite care and may be able to provide assistance in getting family counseling.
If her son is not already working with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation to assist in his education and employment opportunities, he needs to get in touch soon. She should encourage her son to become as independent as possible, while planning for when she is no longer able to take care of him. A visit with an attorney who specializes in estate planning for parents of special needs children would be helpful. — Hot Wheels Grandma in Missouri
Dear Hot Wheels: Thanks so much for your valuable information. We hope she and her son follow through.
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 8.4.09