Posted: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I have been married for six years to “Tom,” a great guy in all respects except one. He is the biggest flirt I have ever seen.
Recently someone at our church said she felt it was her duty to tell me my husband has a reputation as a Casanova, and that when I am not around, he is worse. She said people assume he cheats since he flirts so much. This is not the first time someone has mentioned it.
I was very hurt by this and confronted Tom. At first he denied it, but then he apologized and promised to behave better. However, we were at a restaurant this past weekend and there were two attractive women at a table near us. I had to struggle to keep Tom’s attention and almost began crying at the table. When we got up to leave, he stood to let me walk in front of him as if being courteous, but when I glanced back, he was smiling at these women. One of them was smiling back.
When we got in the car I told him what I saw, and he insisted it was my imagination. I told him it makes me feel as if he’s looking around for someone better. I’ve always tried to pass off his behavior as friendliness. He says he would never cheat on me. I thought about turning the tables and flirting with another man, but I don’t want to be disrespectful and would appreciate the same from him. Do you think a man can really be this big of a flirt and not cheat? — Tired of His Roving Eye
Dear Tired: Absolutely. Many men enjoy the sexual charge of flirting, but have no interest in taking it further. Some women can put up with this adolescent behavior, but others find it demeaning. If you cannot convince Tom of the harm this is doing to your relationship, the next step is counseling.
Dear Annie: Not long ago, an ex-employee made serious allegations of a hostile workplace against our company. The president of the company instructed employees not to discuss the allegations with anyone in order to limit the damage to the company and our fellow employees. Shortly after, the president’s wife and another employee’s wife asked my wife about the issues, and they discussed the problem at length.
My wife was livid that she had to hear about it from other spouses. She said it indicated I did not have the confidence to share delicate work information with the most important person in my life. I, on the other hand, say I did the right thing. I followed a direct order from my superior. The ones in the wrong are the boss and co-worker who blabbed to their spouses. Did I do the right thing, and if so, how do I convince my wife I should be commended not berated? — Closed Lips Don’t Sink Ships
Dear Closed Lips: Based on all the chatter between the involved spouses, we’d say you were smart not to arm your wife with additional ammunition. Some spouses would claim there should be “no secrets” between them, but they mistake issues of workplace privacy for relationship lies. Husbands and wives are not obligated to tell each other things that may be confidences of a third party and are of no concern to the marriage. But expecting your wife to commend you is probably asking too much.
Dear Annie: Thank you for printing the letter from “Michelle in S.C.,” whose friend died from suicide. I lost my daughter to suicide Oct. 6, 2005. Since then, I have formed the North Dakota Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and have been blessed to be able to work with many different people who are committed to the mission of education, prevention and help for survivors. — Mary Weiler, North Dakota Chapter Chair
Dear Mary Weiler: Once again, anyone in crisis can call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255). Survivors can call 1-888-333-AFSP (1-888-333-2377) or access the Web site at afsp.org.
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 2.10.09