Posted: Friday, November 12, 2010 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I have been dating “Tom” for two years and am close to his family. Since early in the relationship, Tom’s cousin “Jeremy” and his two sons have been maintaining my yard. When they come over, I always talk to them because I consider us one big family.
Recently, Jeremy’s wife, “Rachel,” accused me of having sex with her husband. She said she checked his cell phone account online and saw that he had spoken to me for 38 minutes. She went on to say that she heard he had been badmouthing her to some woman on the phone and concluded it must have been me.
I assured Rachel that I was not sleeping with Jeremy, nor was I interested in doing so, and whatever their problem, it had nothing to do with me. I thought that would be the end of it, but Rachel then told Tom and everyone else in his family that I was having an affair with Jeremy. I had already told Tom about the confrontation, and he doesn’t believe Rachel’s accusations. But some of the other female cousins do and no longer want me around their husbands. I am totally innocent here. Jeremy has never been inappropriate with me. I miss being around Tom’s family. What do I do? — Presumed Guilty
Dear Presumed: Rachel doesn’t trust her husband and, because he spends a great deal of time with you, believes you’re the Other Woman. Tom needs to speak up on your behalf, particularly to his parents. They are more important than the cousins. Hopefully, Rachel and Jeremy will get over this outburst of insecurity, and when they do, the cousins will come around. In the meantime, hold your head up and make sure your behavior is above reproach. You can weather this storm.
Dear Annie: I am married to a guy who has not seen a toothbrush for at least 10 years. He has severe halitosis, rotten teeth and gums, and massive cavities. He uses breath mints all day to try to cover up the odor and insists I’m the only one who notices because no one else has mentioned it to him. I explained that most people are not going to tell you your breath stinks, but he won’t listen to me.
My friends have made sly remarks about it, but he either doesn’t pay attention or doesn’t catch on. Every room he goes into starts to smell as soon as he opens his mouth. I’ve bought him a new toothbrush and toothpaste for sensitive teeth, but he refuses to use them. His breath is so horrible, I refuse to be intimate with him. We haven’t had sex in years, and I am seriously thinking of leaving him. Can you recommend anything? — Living with a Stinkbomb
Dear Living: Has your husband seen a dentist in the past 10 years? Does he know that gum disease is linked to heart disease? Can you get one of his friends, co-workers or family members to tell him he needs to take better care of his teeth? If the man is willing to endure bad breath and a sexless marriage, it sounds like he has a major phobia and may need psychiatric help to overcome it. Try sympathy and understanding, and see if it motivates him to get help.
Dear Annie: “Curious in California” said her husband “digs out” his hearing aid when they are in a restaurant. There has to be a reason he finds it necessary to remove his hearing aid. Either the noise is too much, or he has trouble hearing in that environment. He should see his audiologist and be checked out. It’s possible his hearing aid is not doing the job. — Sun City West, Ariz.
Dear Sun City: Several readers suggested that the man’s hearing aid is not fitted properly or is not calibrated correctly. We hope he will look into it.
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 11.12.10