Posted: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 8:04 pm
Dear Annie: I have been married to “Horace” for less than a year. This is his second marriage. His prior marriage was to his high school girlfriend, and they have two children together.
I met Horace in my “partying” stage. He, too, enjoyed going to the bars. He actually did it quite a bit when he was married. His ex-wife didn’t enjoy going out, so he went with his friends. When I married Horace, I became a stepmother and quickly learned life wasn’t about what I wanted anymore. I put Horace and his children first.
We have the kids every other weekend. Horace is a great father who loves to do things with the children when they are with us. But on weekends when we don’t have the kids, Horace still likes to go to the bars. He would love it if I went along, but I’m past that stage in my life. I enjoy going out to movies, dinner and such, but the bars don’t interest me anymore.
I realize this is only twice a month, but those are the only weekends we have together without the children. I want Horace to be with me, but I don’t want to force myself on him. When he asks whether it’s OK if he goes to the bars without me, I always say it’s fine.
Annie, am I overreacting, or does Horace need to grow up and start being a better husband? If this continues, I don’t want to have children with him, as it means I’ll be sitting at home with a baby while he’s off to the bars with his friends. — Iowa
Dear Iowa: Having children did change Horace’s behavior because he doesn’t go to the bars while the kids are visiting. That means there is hope he will be more circumspect when you have a child at home all the time. Not every spouse objects to an occasional night out with friends. You need to decide how many such nights you can tolerate and whether Horace has a drinking problem or is prone to cheat. If the two of you cannot reach an agreement, please discuss it with a counselor.
Dear Annie: I just returned from my sister’s destination wedding. She didn’t invite my teenage children. She arranged for the rest of the family to have free accommodations, but not me, her only sister. This wedding was a huge financial burden, and I also felt insulted.
I recently learned that both of her grown children will be getting married next year — also destination weddings. They again will not be inviting my children, which means finding places for them to stay while I’m out of town.
What is appropriate here? It’s obvious the people who can go will be the ones who can afford it. This just doesn’t seem fair to me. How should I respond? — Destination Unknown
Dear Destination: You behaved well by attending your sister’s inconvenient wedding, but you do not have to impoverish yourself in order to attend the weddings of her children. A bridal couple gets to choose their wedding location. Guests get to RSVP “yes” or “no.” We recommend sending your sincere regrets and a nice gift.
Dear Annie: “Worried Hubby” said that he regularly frequents a neighborhood coffee shop, and one particular friend, “Harry,” likes to flirt with his wife. You gave him several suggestions for handling this. I have one more:
The next time Harry sits with Hubby’s wife, kisses her and puts his arm around her, Hubby should take a photo with his cellphone. Then, when Harry’s wife stops by, he should show her the photo, saying how much the two of them enjoy Harry’s frequent company. She would be glad to know how friendly her husband is, especially when she is nowhere in sight. Problem solved. — Practical in Wisconsin
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email 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.
Published in The Messenger 1.4.12