Dear Annie: My husband’s boss is a married woman half his age. (She’s 25.) At the last Christmas party, she spent two hours with her hand on my husband’s thigh. I said nothing because I didn’t want to cause a scene. She also danced very provocatively in front of him. My husband says he didn’t notice her touching him and doesn’t remember it.
She recently sent an e-mail from her work computer to his home laptop about divorce — kind of encouraging it. He says she told him it was sent by mistake, but she never apologized for it or the argument that ensued as a result. I e-mailed her and said her note was inappropriate at every level.
All of our marital discord stems from his job. I am tired of hearing my husband defend this woman. He says I am silly to be angry, and that she is a good Christian woman who has no interest in him. What do you think? — Upset in Ohio
Dear Ohio: The boss should not be putting her hand on an employee’s thigh and sending him e-mails about divorce. Your husband may believe he must tolerate these flirtations in order to keep his job, but that is the definition of sexual harassment. If he wants this behavior to stop, he should seek legal advice. If he doesn’t want it to stop, you have a different problem.
Dear Annie: I have been married to “Larry” for over 30 years. It’s very difficult to go to church with my husband or any place that may have some sentimentality attached to it. Whenever I look at him, he’s crying, making a sort of whimpering sound.
This man is over 6 feet tall and appears very masculine. I understand grown men cry, but Larry tears up during family dinners and action movies. He is on antidepressants and has seen medical professionals for his depression and anxiety. But this constant crying seems unmanly and very unattractive. It is also irritating and there is little joy left in our marriage. Are we doomed? — Kentucky
Dear Kentucky: If the constant tears are a recent phenomenon, it’s possible your husband is suffering from a hormonal imbalance, a medication problem or may even have had a small stroke that went undetected. Please urge him to see his doctor for a complete checkup, and specifically mention these possibilities. Regardless, after 30 years, he surely must have other endearing qualities that make up for his overwrought sentimentality. If you can’t focus on those, please look into counseling.
Dear Annie: This is for “Stressed out in Texas,” the 11-year-old being bullied by classmates.
My daughter (now a freshman in college) went through this. She begged to switch schools, but I thought it was better to stay put and deal with the problems. I didn’t understand how bad it was.
No matter what she did (and she did many things beautifully), the others would make sure she was a misfit and didn’t belong. It was just one negative and mean comment after another. Some days she would get in the car and cry.
I didn’t know how bad her life was until I started finding food wrappers under her bed — she was self-medicating with food. Her depression started in sixth grade. We are working through this together, and I will be there for her, but I am so disappointed in myself for letting it go this far.
“Stressed” should go to her mom right now. The longer she keeps the bullying to herself, the worse it will be. She should talk to the school counselor and find a physical activity she enjoys and do it a couple of times a week. She deserves to be treated with respect. — Mom in Kentucky
Dear Mom: Thanks to all who wrote offering support and suggesting “Stressed” speak up. There are hundreds of people rooting for her.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. 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 3.6.08