Posted: Monday, May 17, 2010 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I’ve been married to “June” for nine years. We have two young children. June’s first marriage ended in divorce, and after, she moved in with her sister and brother-in-law, “Chuck.” While there, she began an affair with him. I found out three years ago, when she left her e-mail open and I saw dozens of letters between the two of them, many of them recent.
I confronted my wife in the presence of our family counselor and took the blame, saying I could be a better husband. June vowed to break off all contact with Chuck. But since then, she has texted him repeatedly, and worse, I saw an e-mail saying she was planning to divorce me and buy a house with Chuck. He is now divorced from June’s sister.
Recently, June was hospitalized. While I had her cell phone, Chuck sent a text. I ignored it, and then he called. I completely lost it and read him the riot act. Last night, June told me Chuck’s number was programmed into her cell phone so that if his name comes up, she’ll know not to answer. But I checked and there were six texts between the two of them in the past two days. They were planning a lunch date.
Now June says she doesn’t see anything wrong with texting Chuck because he’s “just a friend.” I am totally torn up by this. I wrote June a three-page letter detailing my feelings, fears and insecurities. I love my wife and would hate to see our children go through a divorce. But Chuck has no place in our marriage. I’ve found a family counselor, but June won’t go. Any advice? — Aimless in Ames, Iowa
Dear Aimless: Even if your wife is no longer having a sexual affair with Chuck, she is emotionally involved with him despite your objections, and this is a betrayal. If June refuses to go for counseling, go alone to see whether you can salvage your marriage. Sorry to say, but without her cooperation, we’re not optimistic.
Dear Annie: Three years ago, my youngest son married into a very wealthy family. I love my daughter-in-law, and her mother is very nice. However, something has been bothering me since the wedding.
The wedding invitations said, “Mrs. John Doe requests the honor of your presence at the marriage of her daughter, Jane, to Mr. Joe Smith.”
I was told that my name as the mother of the groom was not on the invitation because “they paid.” I would have paid my share had I been asked. Am I wrong for feeling slighted, or is this the proper etiquette? — Groom’s Mother
Dear Mother: Actually, old-fashioned etiquette rules presume the parents of the bride are the paying hosts of the wedding and the invitation goes out in their name. The groom is considered an independent adult whose parents are not “giving him away,” and therefore, their names do not appear. Of course, modern interpretations allow for all kinds of invitations. The bride and groom should have discussed this with you in advance. Please try to forgive them.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Freaked-Out Mom,” whose 18-year-old son has pornographic pictures of his not-yet-16-year-old girlfriend. I strongly urge her to talk to her son about the dangers of what could happen to him.
My friend “Mike” dated “Katie” for three years. When he was 19 and she was 16, law enforcement officials found out about their relationship. Katie naively admitted they had been intimate. Now Mike is spending two years of his life in prison, and when he gets out, he’ll have to register as a sex offender. Employers and landlords who check his criminal background will see he is a convicted felon. No one cares that he was in a committed, loving relationship with a girl he genuinely adored. — Tom
Dear Tom: Every parent should talk to their children about the age of consent. Too many teens and young adults don’t appreciate what could happen to them.
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, 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 5.17.10