Dear Annie: I have been in a relationship with “Hunter” for six years. For the first three, he was married to someone else. He’d had affairs throughout his entire marriage, but he left his wife and daughter, gave up everything and moved in with me. Now he’s cheating on me. I’ve already caught him twice.
Hunter can’t afford to move out because he gives his ex most of his money, and I don’t want to kick him out in the street. I can’t sleep and it’s beginning to take a toll on everything I do.
I don’t really have anyone to talk to because everyone will say I’m getting what I deserve. Am I beyond help? Hunter says he loves me and wants to spend the rest of his life with me. — Reaping What I’ve Sown
Dear Reaper: Hunter probably told his wife that, too, but it didn’t mean much. Your boyfriend is a serial cheater, and unless he gets professional help to understand himself better, he won’t stop — not for you, not for anyone. He may love you, but he will not be faithful. You need to decide if you want to stay with someone who we guarantee will cheat on you again. We think it’s time to tell Hunter he has to find another place to live, and don’t let him sweet-talk you into letting him stay. You are not responsible for supporting him.
Dear Annie: Last year, my church hired a new pastor. He has a girlfriend whom he is planning to marry on a Sunday, during the only service that day. They have asked members to bring a dish to a potluck reception following the ceremony. The pastor listed places where congregants can buy gifts and also suggested we help decorate the church by purchasing flowers to donate.
Maybe I’m looking at this wrong, but I don’t think having a wedding on a Sunday is right, making attendance at their wedding obligatory if we wish to go to services. It seems selfish. And asking members to provide for their wedding is a bit much. Is this appropriate behavior from a pastor? — Very Disturbed
Dear Disturbed: Pastors usually hold a special position within the community, and many congregants want to celebrate their important milestones, such as marriage. But few pastors can afford to host a wedding for that many people, so a Sunday potluck meal and homemade decorations are not unusual. What is unfortunate is that the pastor took it upon himself to make demands of his congregation when it would have been much less offensive if these suggestions had come from a fellow congregant. Because the pastor is new, you haven’t had enough time to get to know him and you understandably feel imposed upon. He’s being a little presumptuous, but we’d give him a pass this time and wish him the best.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Please Help Me,” the military spouse who said her husband was high ranking and made her feel inadequate.
She needs to reread her letter. She wanted a dog — they have a dog. She was miserable overseas — he put in for a transfer. Sounds to me like he is trying to make her happy even though he complains about it.
My husband spent 23 years in the Air Force. During that time, we lived in two foreign countries and six different states. If she needs someone to talk to, she should see the chaplain. If she needs to make friends, the spouses organization is a good place to start and there are usually organizations on base that need volunteers. Finally, most bases have a family support center.
My last piece of advice is the one I tried to follow: Bloom where you are planted. Make every base your home. Reach out to others who are far from home. — Military Wife
Dear Wife: Dozens of military spouses wrote with similar advice. Our thanks to all of you.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column.
Published in The Messenger 1.8.08