Posted: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: Some time ago, my boyfriend and I spent the night with his best friend, “Jimmy,” and his girlfriend, “Eve.” During that time, my boyfriend asked me not to bring up the couple’s relationship troubles. Jimmy was cheating on Eve, even though they have two children together and planned to get married.
After the children went to bed and the men went outside, Eve confided that she and Jimmy had issues in the bedroom — she thought it was a secret. I told her I already knew and so did everybody else. Eve was shocked and hurt to discover that her sex life was the talk of Jimmy’s friends.
She then asked me if I thought Jimmy was cheating on her. She was suspicious and said her relationship counselor suggested she ask everybody she knew. Most people told Eve they didn’t know, or that Jimmy was faithful and a great guy. I happen to know that a lot of his friends cheat on their girlfriends and actually encourage Jimmy to do the same. It disgusted me, and I told her everything. After that, Jimmy and Eve broke up, and Eve got full custody of the children.
Now Jimmy hates my boyfriend (not to mention me). But he treated Eve terribly and was abusive physically, as well as emotionally. My boyfriend doesn’t get it. He is angry and says he lost one of his best friends because of me. He makes me feel guilty and brings it up at every opportunity.
I am depressed about it and now wish I hadn’t said anything. Everybody I’ve mentioned it to has said I’m in the wrong. Am I? I thought I was doing the right thing. — Friendless in Michigan
Dear Michigan: You did. When asked directly about a partner’s infidelity, you should tell the truth. Frankly, Eve eventually would have discovered that Jimmy was cheating anyway, and if he was abusing her, you did her a huge favor. Stop feeling guilty about being the catalyst of their well-deserved breakup, and tell your boyfriend to get over it already.
Dear Annie: We find it hard to drop off our child at a friend’s house for a party or a group school project. We would like to meet either of the parents inside the host’s house. On one occasion, the father talked to me on his doorstep for 10 minutes and never once invited me inside to sit down and be comfortable until my child was ready to leave.
Is it normal or appropriate for parents to drop off their children at a stranger’s place without even getting introduced? We have told our daughter that these people are rude, but she says it is absolutely fine. What is your take on this? — Frustrated With Drop-Offs
Dear Frustrated: This is a children’s party, and the parents do not have to entertain each other. You should, of course, meet the other child’s parents, introduce yourself and talk for a few minutes to get some idea of the people who are hosting your child. And although it would be gracious if they invited you inside to wait, they are not obligated to do so.
Dear Annie: You are right that “Almost 21” could end up in the emergency room or morgue if she drinks 21 shots followed by 21 beers. But you are wrong that it’s “double the amount.” It’s at least 10 times what anyone should consume.
If she hasn’t started drinking by age 21, she has a wonderful opportunity to avoid all of the harmful effects of alcohol. She also can form a life of responsible social drinking if she learns to “just say no” as soon as the buzz begins and then drink water or tea. — Rich in Tallahassee
Dear Rich: It has become an unfortunate, but common, rite of passage for many 21-year-olds to binge drink on their “legal” birthday, and we doubt they will stop because someone else says so, no matter how sensible the suggestion.
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, 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 5.12.10