Posted: Wednesday, April 7, 2010 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I am at a crossroads and need your advice. For the past two years, I have been dating an older married man who works at my office. I started seeing him after my husband and I split up.
Our time together is limited. He comes over to my house once or twice during the workweek and spends some time with me every other weekend when my children are with their father. We are in contact by cell phone, and I text him throughout the day and evening. We are never together in public unless it is out of town.
My problem is, he has told me he will leave his wife, but he hasn’t yet. When I don’t see him on a night he is supposed to come over, I get angry. He later apologizes, and I forgive him. This has gotten to be our regular routine.
I feel like I have wasted these past two years, but for some reason I keep coming back for more. Should I give up? — P.H.
Dear P.H.: Wake up, honey. He’s not planning to leave his wife for you. He has a sweet deal on the side, and you put up with it. Yes, you have wasted two years. Please don’t waste any more. He will make all kinds of promises when you tell him you are leaving, but gather your strength and don’t believe a word. We don’t want you writing us in another five years, asking the same question.
Dear Annie: I respect and love my ex-brother-in-law, “Joe,” like my own kin.
I am a carpenter’s apprentice with excellent skills. Joe, along with several family members, called and asked for my help with some repairs on his home so that he could receive family and friends after his second wife died last year.
I agreed, for a fee, but didn’t specify the price. I told him I’d leave that up to him. The repairs were extensive. I fixed two roofs and the interior ceiling, replaced shingles, patched many holes throughout the house, put up window coverings and painted most of the interior.
Knowing that this is my livelihood and I am currently out of work, I expected to hear from Joe when I finished. I gave him a two-month grace period before I mentioned the money. He responded as if I were being disrespectful of the dead. He yelled at me and hung up the phone.
Now I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. Do I sue him for the repairs or let it go? — Sick and Tired in Connecticut
Dear Connecticut: Would you rather have the money or the relationship? You are not going to get both. We’ll assume your ex-brother-in-law is still grieving the loss of his wife and was not thinking clearly. Since you never specified a price, he apparently thought you had done those repairs out of the kindness of your heart. We hope he will eventually agree to give you something for your hard work, but the only way to maintain the friendship is to chalk this one up to experience.
Dear Annie: Your advice to “Out-of-Space Mom,” whose grown daughter lives in another country but left her stuff at Mom’s house, was on target, but it needs one more step. Mom should tell her daughter that she will pay for six months of storage, and that at the end of that time, she will call Goodwill to come pick it up. Simply discontinuing the payments will result in nothing but hassle for Mom, in whose name the stuff will be stored and who will have to keep paying or suffer through collection efforts by the storage unit owner.
Personally, I’d make this a one-step process for Mom by packing up the stuff and telling the daughter that on moving day it is going out the door, unless the daughter has made arrangements, in HER name, to store it or ship it. — N.C. Lawyer
Dear Lawyer: Your solution is much more definitive. Thank you for cleaning up after us.
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, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. 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 4.7.10