Posted: Tuesday, August 23, 2011 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: My husband (probably soon-to-be ex) and I read your column with our morning coffee. We’ve been married 43 years and have two married children and five beautiful grandchildren. I felt very blessed, loved and cherished.
“Bill” retired two years ago. Obviously, I wasn’t paying enough attention to notice the red flags. I trusted my husband completely, but he developed a relationship with one of his co-workers. I’d met her at the company Christmas party, but failed to notice how much she and Bill seemed to enjoy being together. I’m sure he had no clue that all his other co-workers were gossiping about him and this gal. They tried to warn me about the relationship, but I had blinders on. I couldn’t believe my Bill would be interested in another woman.
I found a card from her saying she’d be “seeing him soon” and signed “with love.” He had hidden it in his desk. When I confronted him, he said he planned to see her about once a month, just to keep in touch. He made it clear that I was not included in these meetings.
When I realized what a fool I’d been to trust him all this time, I decided to file for divorce. In spite of that, Bill refuses to stop seeing this woman. My daughter says I’m doing the right thing, but my son fears I’m rushing into something both of us will regret.
I want to warn other couples to pay attention to those red flags. Don’t blithely disregard what others are saying. Those same co-workers now tell me that they stopped warning me because I refused to listen. This experience destroyed my world. Annie, if you have any advice for me, I’m listening now. — A Formerly Trusting Wife
Dear Trusting: Spouses often ignore warning signs because they can’t fathom being betrayed by someone they trust, and facing their worst fear is too painful to bear. Your son doesn’t want you to have any regrets. Please ask your husband to come with you for counseling before making your decision permanent. If he refuses, go without him, and make sure your choice is the right one.
Dear Annie: Several times a year, our relatives get together for family dinners. When my husband’s married cousin arrives, he pulls me into his body, wraps his arms around me and blows kisses in my ear. When we are in the same room, he sometimes walks up behind me and hugs me tightly.
My husband says to ignore him because he is simply being a jerk. I spend the entire time trying to avoid him. I have asked him to stop, to no avail. Am I wrong for feeling this uncomfortable? — Creep Factor
Dear Creep Factor: Hardly. This cousin is a world-class stinker who will keep groping you until there are consequences for him. The next time he does it, shriek loudly in surprise, and then tell his wife that her husband can’t seem to keep his hands off you. That ought to take care of it, since your husband won’t.
Dear Annie: “Inger from N.H.” expressed a pet peeve about the way change is returned to the shopper in retail establishments. Instead of sympathizing, you simply said that the column was available for letting off steam.
My father was a former A&P manager, before the era of supermarkets, when clerks still waited on customers. I learned how to say “yes, ma’am” and “no, sir.” And we had one of those cash registers that didn’t tell you how much change to give, so I had to learn how to make change and count it out in the customer’s hand.
When you have experienced this kind of treatment, you never forget that we once lived in a civilized society. I, for one, fully empathize with “Inger” and lament the loss of a kinder past. Please let her know there are still some of us left. — Thomasville, Pa.
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 8.23.11