Posted: Thursday, February 11, 2010 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I’ve been married for 29 years to a man I adore. We have had our ups and downs, but have weathered the storms because we both believe we are meant to be together. But we have a problem I don’t know how to solve.
“Joe” plays an online role-playing game that I have never been comfortable with. And he always gets involved with someone online, and it is always a woman. They can’t advance in their game unless they work together.
Several years ago, Joe became emotionally attached to another woman and left me for a while. When he came back, I thought those things were behind us, but I keep discovering lies. I know he meets up with this woman online every day while I am at work. My children can hear the sound of her voice. My son was so upset, he wanted to move out of the house.
This torments me so much that I can barely function at work. I love my job, but I cry in the bathroom, and people are starting to ask questions. I have finally realized that Joe is going to do this type of thing forever, and it breaks my heart. Joe treats me beautifully when we are together, but I don’t want to share him with other women.
I have asked his family for help, but they say Joe has a right to his relaxation and it shouldn’t bother me. I am planning to start counseling before I have a nervous breakdown. I don’t want to lose this man, but I have to save myself. Don’t you think these women should consider the time they are spending online with someone who is married? Is there any hope for me? — Crying Every Day
Dear Crying: Don’t blame “these women” for Joe’s behavior. The world of online gaming has plenty of men he could team up with, but he obviously makes the effort to find females. Joe’s history indicates he becomes attached to his online friends, which is unhealthy for your marriage. If he cannot see (or doesn’t care about) the damage he is causing, things don’t look good. We are glad you will be getting counseling. It will help.
Dear Annie: My husband and I have five children together, and he has an older child from a previous relationship.
My question is about the firstborn of our five children. Our son died at the age of 9 months, but we still consider him part of our lives in so many ways. When asked how many children we have, what is the proper response? We don’t want to leave out our firstborn, but we also don’t want to give the wrong impression. — Elkhart, Ind.
Dear Elkhart: The answer is up to you and depends on how much personal information you wish to divulge. If you prefer, it is OK to say you have six children. You are not obligated to give anyone the details. However, if you are willing to talk about your firstborn to those who ask this question, it might be comforting for you to say you have six children, but one died as an infant.
Dear Annie: I’d like to respond to “At a Loss,” the 16-year-old who wets the bed.
I wet the bed until I was 17. So did my sister, my grandson and my nephew. Somewhere down the line, we inherited this from a relative. For me, it was my father.
The good news? We all outgrew it by the time we were in our 20s. I recommend she get some adult diapers from a medical supply store and just put them in the trash in the morning. They worked wonderfully for my grandson. I wish her luck and hope it’s almost over with. — Mem
Dear Mem: A certain percentage of bed-wetters outgrow it eventually. We’re glad that worked for you.
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, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. 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 2.11.10