Posted: Wednesday, July 9, 2008 7:39 pm
Dear Annie: My husband of over 25 years has a large number of friends and acquaintances listed in his e-mail address book with whom he exchanges jokes, news, pictures and, at times, porn. This sometimes includes very explicit videos.
He shares the majority of these e-mails with me, so I know what he’s doing. My problem is, he also shares these pornographic videos and pictures with the women in his address book. Some of these women are co-workers and others are friends, a few of whom I have never met.
I feel this is totally inappropriate and definitely crossing a line. I’ve told him it bothers me, but he continues to send them. He feels sharing such stuff is harmless. I’ve tried explaining that women see this in a different light. And I feel he’s doing it behind my back, which makes me feel even worse. Am I making a big deal out of nothing? — Porn King’s Wife
Dear Wife: He’s not doing it behind your back if he copies you on everything. However, if your husband is sending porn to female co-workers, he might lose his job because it could be construed as harassment. And you are right that women usually interpret such e-mails as more intimate than intended. And more uncouth. Explain this to your husband and ask him, at the very least, to stop sending porn to female co-workers. Beyond that, there’s not much you can do about such juvenile behavior.
Dear Annie: My friends and I are concerned about the well-being of a couple we’ve known for years. (We are now in our early 60s.) Two years ago, “John and Martha” were involved in an auto accident. John hit the windshield pretty hard and a short time later suffered a heart attack. We then noticed a drastic change in his personality. Out of concern, one of the guys spoke with Martha and was told in no uncertain terms to mind his own business.
Things have gone downhill since. Today, John and Martha have difficulty taking care of themselves. Last fall, some friends took four hours cleaning out their garage so they could park their cars inside, but the vehicles sat out all winter. Martha is now in failing health and spends her days in bed drunk.
They are estranged from their children, whom we’ve never met. Their house is a firetrap, with ashtrays overflowing onto the floor. The walkways have newspapers piled up and garbage everywhere. We’ve seen feces on the walls in the bathroom.
This couple could afford to pay someone to come in and clean, but they are not interested. We don’t know where to turn. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. — Concerned Friends
Dear Friends: Call Adult Protective Services and explain the situation. Ask if a social worker can be sent to investigate. Between the car accident, heart attack and drinking, it sounds like your friends need to be evaluated for physical and mental impairment. Bless you for caring.
Dear Annie: Your answer to “Torn Parents in Denver” was not the reliable advice you normally give. Their daughter couldn’t get along with their son’s girlfriend. You suggested, among other things, to treat one of the couples to a hotel.
To suggest rewarding one and possibly two immature adult children with a romantic weekend instead of expecting them to socialize at an occasional family visit is ludicrous. Just because the siblings can’t get along with the boyfriends and girlfriends is no reason for the parents to compensate them for their sibling rivalry and jealousy. — B.E.
Dear B.E.: It’s neither reward nor compensation. When adult family members are forced to occupy the same household space for many days’ duration, it can fray the best of nerves. Letting one couple have time alone is a way to ease the tension and allow the relationships to be tolerated until they can be accepted.
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, 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 7.9.08