Posted: Monday, December 6, 2010 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: For 30 years, my brother has been unhappily married to a horrible, selfish, evil woman who treats him terribly. Our entire family tolerates her only to keep the peace.
Recently, I found out that my brother is involved with a beautiful, kind woman I know. I don’t know what to do. While I can’t stand my sister-in-law, how do I condone his affair? My sister and brother are also aware that he is cheating, but they are in support of it. They want him to leave his awful wife. What should I do? — Caught in the Middle
Dear Caught: Nothing. This is not your business. Rather than take sides, encourage your brother to resolve the issues in his marriage. For whatever reasons, he has stayed with your sister-in-law for 30 years, and there may be more going on than you realize. He and his wife can seek counseling to work through their difficulties and perhaps improve their lives. And if he wants out of the marriage, he should be brave enough to get a divorce so he can see this “beautiful, kind woman” without turning it into some sordid affair that will eventually make them both miserable. Life is too short to spend it being unhappy when you have the choice to do otherwise.
Dear Annie: New neighbors recently moved in behind us. Our backyards are separated by a fence, and our houses are pretty close together. After moving in, our neighbors installed outside speakers on either side of the sliding glass door on their back porch. When their music is on, it may as well be in my living room.
I did go talk to them, but I don’t think they really listened. All they heard was that I have small children who are in bed by 8 p.m., so the music will be off by 8 p.m. But I am a stay-at-home mom and have to listen to this music all day long. Now that the weather is becoming so beautiful in my area, I would love to have my windows and doors open to enjoy the sunshine and cool breeze. But then I can’t even hear the TV in my own living room. What can I do? — Florida
Dear Florida: People are entitled to have speakers outside their home as long as they don’t blast the eardrums of their neighbors. If the music is playing at a normal volume, even though you don’t like it, there’s not much you can do. However, if the music violates local noise ordinances, you can report it to the authorities. We suggest talking to your neighbors again and asking them, nicely, if they could please turn down the volume during the day so you can have some peace and quiet now and then. They may not realize how far the sound carries.
Dear Annie: I would like to respond to the letter from “Lonely, but Afraid,” who had a terrible dating experience and now thinks all men want from her is sex.
For religious reasons, I was never sexually active, but I dated a lot. Anyone who didn’t respect my feelings about sex would be told to get lost. A woman must have enough self-respect to make sure men understand her wishes. Here is a secret that has been lost: Men like the chase. Even now, some old boyfriends consider me “the one who got away” — and trust me, I am not that cute.
I waited for my husband. He appreciates the fact that I didn’t sleep with the entire world before we met. We have been married 10 happy years, with wonderful children, no STDs and no fertility issues — just love, plain and simple. Tell “Lonely” to hold on to her convictions. She will love herself more for it in the end. There are so many women I know who wish they had been like me. — Waited in Pennsylvania
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.