Posted: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 8:00 pm
Dear Annie: I’ve been with my boyfriend for eight years and find that I’m not as happy as I used to be. But we have a child together, which makes it harder to decide what to do.
For the past few years, I have been talking to another man. Nothing has happened between us, but we are very attracted to each other. We hang out occasionally, and I can’t stop thinking about him. He has a child with his live-in girlfriend, so he’s in the same position as I am.
I don’t know what to do. My relationship is bumpy and stressful, but I have a hard time leaving. — Vermont
Dear Vermont: You have a commitment not only to your boyfriend, but to your child. It means you don’t behave selfishly and rashly, or in ways that will hurt them. Being attracted to someone else is not unusual, but acting on those feelings puts you in the wrong. If your current relationship is “bumpy and stressful,” please get counseling with your partner to see whether you can put yourselves back on track. Whatever the outcome, cheating is not the answer.
Dear Annie: Our son is in a wheelchair. The van we use for his transportation has a ramp that makes loading and unloading simple. But in order for us to use the ramp, we need a handicapped parking space that is next to a wide, striped area. Unfortunately, often someone parks next to us in the striped area before we return to the van, which then makes access to the ramp impossible. We can’t decide whether it’s ignorance or arrogance that makes people do this. Are they not aware that any striped area is a no-parking zone?
A few years ago, we were at a local mall at Christmastime, and parking was at a premium. We were fortunate to find a handicapped space near the entrance. When we returned to the van, a car had squeezed into the adjacent blue-striped area. It required leaving my son unattended behind the other vehicle while I pulled my car out. What made matters worse was that mall security was present and did nothing.
It makes my blood boil to see people use the striped areas. Some of these people have handicapped placards or plates, so I guess they think that makes it OK. It does NOT. The striped areas are there to provide safe passage for individuals using wheelchairs, walkers or crutches, and for the less able-bodied to get in and out of their vehicles. The more inclement the weather the worse this problem is. And sometimes even the local police use these areas to park. What kind of an example are they setting? — Seeing Red About Blue
Dear Red: A poor one. We know that some people are dismissive of handicapped spaces and park wherever they want. But most people try to be respectful, so we assume they don’t realize that these adjacent striped areas are intended to be used for ramps, wheelchairs and other necessities. Please, folks, life can be challenging enough for those with disabilities. Let’s not make it harder.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “Free To Be Me.” I, too, have lived in a verbally abusive marriage for more than 40 years, but in my case, I am the husband, and she is the bully. Change the pronouns, and I could have written that letter.
I want to thank “Free” for giving me the courage to file for divorce. As a result, I, too, must walk away from everything: family, friends, church, home and most of my income. Many people sit in silent desperation waiting for their life to pass by. I did that for years, but now it is time to move on. — Being Me, Too
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. 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 7.24.12