Posted: Thursday, August 30, 2012 8:00 pm
Dear Annie: My wife and I are in the final stages of a divorce after 25 years of marriage. We have two wonderful teenagers. We both realize that we had a part in the breakdown of the marriage, and we are trying to keep the process as friendly as such things can be.
Shortly after my wife moved out, I met a wonderful lady with whom I have much in common. Once the divorce is final, I would like to ask her to marry me. Is that fair? I don’t want my soon-to-be-ex to think that she meant nothing to me and is being traded in. I also don’t want my new ladylove to think I’m simply replacing one wife with another. I don’t mind living alone. It actually has been quite peaceful.
The biggest worry is the kids. I think my son would understand, but my 13-year-old daughter will be a different story. She tries to put up a good front, but isn’t succeeding all that well.
I guess the real question is: Should I let my concerns for other people get in the way of my own happiness? How can I help my daughter understand that I am not disrespecting the years of my marriage? I am simply taking the next step in my life. — Ready To Move On
Dear Ready: Your main focus right now should be your kids’ adjustment, not your personal contentment. You are rushing things. They are teenagers. The parents they love are divorcing, and this is enough trauma in their lives for the moment. Please don’t make things more stressful by remarrying so quickly. Let the dust from the divorce settle, and then slowly introduce the new woman into your children’s lives and let them get to know her. They may still object, but they will have less reason if they don’t feel she is being shoved down their throats. We think all of you could benefit from speaking to a family therapist.
Dear Annie: Lately, I have been getting constant putdowns for my “new” appearance. It consists of clothes that I’ve owned for a while, though nobody seemed to notice until I began applying black eyeliner. My sister has been pestering me for months, complaining that I look Goth. I admit that I’ve begun using makeup more often, though it’s usually only eyeliner or silver eye shadow.
A few days ago, I was sent to the school office to receive papers for a special event for high-honor students. While I was waiting, a teacher I didn’t know walked in and gave me a nasty look, saying, “Hope that one makes it to the high school.”
Annie, I have no piercings other than the standard ones in my ears. I don’t dye my hair. I am an honor student and love to read. Please tell your readers not to judge a book by its cover. It can really hurt. — Judged Wrong in Jersey
Dear Jersey: It is never a good idea to judge based on appearances. But, honey, if simply wearing eyeliner is making people look askance, you might ask whether perhaps you are wearing a bit too much. And if a Goth look is what you are going for, it makes no sense to be surprised by the reaction. Take responsibility for your choices.
Dear Annie: Like “Single Too Long,” I am 55, divorced with grown children and can’t find a long-term relationship. The difference is, I’m female. I have tried dating sites and church groups (full of women). I did meet men when I briefly worked at Home Depot, but I had to quit. You told him to go where the women are, but where are the men? — Looking for a Relationship, Too
Dear Looking: In bookstores, grocery stores, hardware stores and laundromats. At sporting events, taking college courses, playing golf, softball and basketball, doing volunteer work and traveling. Readers? Help us out here.
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, 737 Third St., 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 8.30.12