Posted: Thursday, August 27, 2009 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: My common-law wife of many years has left me for another man. I let my pursuit of the dollar rule my life and spent so much time working to support my family that I did not give them what they truly needed. I made many mistakes and the first was not standing before God and marrying my wife.
Before “Carla” left, we never argued and I was totally unaware she was unhappy. She now has a new boyfriend, who has no home, no car, no job, no future and a very bad reputation around our town.
I am in counseling. How can I convince Carla to join me or at least consider reconciling? She drops by the house to tend her horses, but often doesn’t tell the children when she’s here and this hurts them. I don’t know how to get through to her. I would do anything to have my family whole again. — Heartbroken in Norco, Calif.
Dear Norco: It sounds as if Carla is running away, and she has chosen a boyfriend who reflects that sense of irresponsibility. Until she is ready to face her life as it is, she will not be responsive to reconciling. Continue with your counseling so you can deal with your emotions about the situation, as well as the problems that will crop up. If you are patient, Carla might come back, but please don’t put your life on hold. You and the children deserve to have a stable, happy home with or without her.
Dear Annie: I am in my early 30s and happily married. My husband and I have been trying to conceive for four years. We achieved pregnancy once, which resulted in a miscarriage. Meanwhile, our friends are having babies left and right. I no longer can handle baby showers, but I always send gifts and good wishes.
In these four years, we have encountered both well-meaning and cruel people who say awful things to our faces and behind our backs. Our struggles have served as gossip at parties, which is embarrassing and hurtful. Here are some of the gems we’ve heard: “There must be something terribly wrong with you,” “You’re selfish for not coming to my baby shower,” “Fertility treatments are morally wrong, so it’s no wonder they’re not working,” and “Maybe God doesn’t want you to have children.”
How should we respond to these types of comments? It is painful to know that our fertile acquaintances don’t feel our situation deserves respect or discretion. — Infertile Myrtle
Dear Myrtle: Some of those comments are utterly reprehensible. You have several choices of response: “Thank you for your opinion,” “Sorry you feel that way,” “I’m sure you didn’t intend to be hurtful and cruel” and the all-purpose “I can’t imagine why that’s your business.” If you have not already done so, please contact Resolve (resolve.org) at 1760 Old Meadow Rd., Suite 500, McLean, VA 22102 for support and encouragement.
Dear Annie: “Patrick in Stockton, Calif.,” said men enjoy strip clubs because they aren’t getting what they need from their wives at home. You said, “Insecure men often prefer professional women because they don’t care what the guy is like as long as he has money.”
As a practicing attorney, I consider myself a professional woman, and I most certainly DO care what a guy is like. I finally concluded you must have used the term “professional women” in reference to females who work in the sex trade. That’s certainly an unconventional use of the word “professional.”
My dictionary says a profession is “a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive academic preparation.” Strip clubs and lap dances? I don’t think so. — Professional Woman
Dear Woman: Please tell us you are joking. “Professional woman” is a common term used to denote a female who is paid for sex-related work. A reference to “professional women” in a letter about strip clubs should not bring to mind an attorney, unless you have talents of which we are unaware.
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 8.27.09