Posted: Saturday, October 2, 2010 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: What do you do when you have been with someone for almost 40 years and he keeps becoming infatuated with other women?
A few years ago, my husband became interested in a woman young enough to be his daughter. He called her at all hours and the e-mails were never-ending. He’d sneak out to meet her and lie about where he had been. He even kissed her every time they met, although he claimed he was too old to do anything more. I think this woman actually loved him. When he ended it, I thought he was finally maturing.
He is now infatuated with someone else. This time it’s text messaging, phone calls and e-mails and attending functions where she is present. Sometimes he even takes me with him. And the kissing continues. She encourages him. When confronted, he claims it’s all in my head and nothing is going on.
I am ready to explode. I am not leaving, but he certainly is welcome to. My life with him has been no bed of roses, but I thought when he got older things would improve. But instead of physical and verbal abuse, I now have to put up with emotional abuse. He sees nothing wrong with this. Don’t bother recommending counseling. I’m not interested. I would simply like him to leave so I can have some peace in my older years. — Needed To Vent
Dear Vent: So ask him to leave. Or get your own apartment. Or file for a legal separation or divorce. You have several options to gain your “peace,” and we recommend you take one. There’s no reason to continue putting up with this.
Dear Annie: My grown son lives several hours away, but we keep in contact through phone, e-mail and text. When I spoke with my father yesterday, I discovered he had generously signed over one of his vehicles to my son. This transaction took place more than a week ago, and yet my son made no mention of it.
I knew he must have been very excited and sent him an e-mail saying I had just heard the good news, although I was hurt that he hadn’t said anything. His response absolutely floored me. He said he didn’t understand why my feelings were hurt, since the transaction was between his grandfather and him and didn’t concern me.
I am beside myself. Am I being unrealistic, or was this an extremely rude response? — California
Dear California: Sorry, Mom. Your son is a grown man. He is entitled to acquire a car from Grandpa or anyone else without telling you about it. It doesn’t mean he isn’t close to you. But the sooner you can respect his independence and privacy the less likely your feelings are to be hurt.
Dear Annie: I disagree with your advice to “Parentless Parent,” whose mother is toxic. You said she might want to send a photograph once a year.
I have cut off my parents, especially my mother, for very good reasons. Sometimes you just need to let them go. My mother has tried to undermine my relationship with my husband since the day we met. She says hurtful things that are disguised as “helpful” comments. I told my mother I wouldn’t stand for it and she needed to stop. But she kept going and now has no contact with my son.
For parents who are like mine, keeping up contact once a year with a photo opens the door for them to try to push their way back in. My marriage has been much better since I cut off my parents. It may hurt to do so, but it is sometimes best for the sake of your family. — Sad but Happy in the Midwest
Dear Midwest: Everyone learns to cope with difficult parents in their own way. Some children manage it better than others, and some parents can be too hard to handle altogether. It is sad that your mother is so toxic that it is impossible to have any contact whatsoever.
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 10.01.10