Posted: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 8:00 pm
Dear Annie: My wife and I have been married for 45 years. We both grew up in this small Midwestern town. Until 10 years back, I thought it was a good marriage.
The problem began when I found out some things that happened during our high school years. Through discussions with other classmates and conversations with friends, it became evident that there’s a lot I didn’t know about my wife.
However, from our very first discussion about these incidents, she said this was none of my business, it’s in the past, and she shouldn’t have to answer any of my questions. But, Annie, some of what was revealed is hard to forget.
I have sought counseling for this, and it has helped to some degree. My question now is: Am I in the wrong to want some kind of explanation or discussion of this information? Is a spouse in such circumstances required to clear the air? I don’t need every detail, but shouldn’t I have enough to settle my anxiety? — Surprised Husband
Dear Surprised: To your wife, these incidents are ancient history, and she’d like to forget about them. But you insist on picking the scabs off of her teenage scars because to you these incidents are fairly recent and you are still absorbing their impact. As far as she’s concerned, the explanation is simple: She was young and made mistakes. She grew up and changed her life.
We understand that you’d like more of an explanation, but she absolutely does not want to rehash her life before she married you. Unless something she did then has consequences that require action now, please accept that she is not that person any longer, and apparently, all for the good. You’ve been obsessing over this for 10 years, and we are certain it hasn’t helped your marriage. Whatever it was she did, please find a way to forgive her and let it go.
Dear Annie: My wife and I have a small group of friends with whom we do something fun as a group every week or so. The problem is, we are the only ones who initiate this time together. If my wife and I don’t plan or host it, we sometimes won’t hear from these people for a month or more.
To make it worse, we often hear about the fun things they did without us during this time. We are tired of feeling left out and unimportant. Aside from finding new friends, we are at a loss. — Frustrated with Friends in South Dakota
Dear South Dakota: Are those “fun things” planned by others? Your friends could be the type of people who need to be organized by those willing to put forth the effort. And if they are arranging and hosting events and not including you, they are users who are happy to eat your food and share your plans, but have no intention of reciprocating. Most people fall somewhere in between. They aren’t trying to be rude. They simply aren’t paying attention. Your situation is in the category of “nothing to lose.” Take one of these so-called friends aside and ask what’s going on.
Dear Annie: This is for “Texas,” who was fed up that her mother ate food from her fridge without asking permission. So she let her mom eat a dog biscuit to teach her a lesson. She sounds like a stingy, thankless child.
When I was a girl, my mother cooked and fed four children on a tight budget. She often ate less so we could have more. As adults, we never had to ask her permission to take a cookie from her cookie jar or a drink from her refrigerator. In fact, we were urged to help ourselves.
My mom was always welcome to any food or beverage I had in my home, and I would gladly have served her a second plate. I’m offended that “Texas” would deliberately fool her mother and brag about it. — Louisiana
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. 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 5.01.12