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Annie 9.6.07

Annie 9.6.07
Published in The Messenger on 9.6.07
Dear Annie: I’m burnt out in a go-nowhere job and desperately want to quit. I’ve got a great husband who earns more than enough to support the two of us, but he feels I should still contribute to the household income, of which I currently earn less than 18 percent.
I’ve been searching for a job where I could work part time, but after two years, nothing has come along. I’m exhausted all the time. I never feel like doing anything after work or on weekends, and I’ve lost my enthusiasm for things I used to enjoy.
I’m in my 30s and was hoping we would have a child and that would solve the problem, but my husband keeps putting off parenthood. If I stay at my job, I’ll grow more and more resentful of my husband, but if I quit, I know he’d hate it.
It’s not like I would sit around all day watching TV or go shopping. I keep an immaculate house, prepare healthy meals, exercise daily and like to help out friends and family. I’ve been keeping up this household routine while working 40 hours a week, and I just can’t do it anymore. When we married, my husband knew I had no interest in being a career woman, but when we talk about this, it always ends up in a fight. Your advice? — Tired of the Double Shift
Dear Double Shift: It’s not unreasonable for your husband to expect you to contribute financially to the household, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep a job you hate. Stop putting your life on hold waiting to get pregnant, which, by the way, is never a solution to marital problems. Instead of part-time work, look for a full-time job in another field, perhaps one where you get paid for helping people. Your husband also needs to step up and do his share of the housework. You are showing some classic signs of depression, and if you can’t find a better balance in your marriage, please get professional help — with or without your husband.
Dear Annie: After 20 years of what I believed was a happy marriage, my husband moved out and decided he needed to “find himself.” Of course, this includes a younger girlfriend. We have two teenagers at home, but he is certain his actions are not harming them in any way. He refuses counseling and wants a divorce.
I know we’re not the only family that has gone through this, so I am wondering if there is anyone out there who, with the advantage of hindsight, can honestly comment on whether or not the relationship with their kids has suffered in the long run and if they have regrets about walking out. Will you ask them? — The First Wife
Dear First Wife: We can tell you that in some families, the relationships have never recovered. It depends a great deal on how the divorced parents treat each other and if the new spouses welcome the children. Readers? What do you say?
Dear Annie: After reading another letter from a woman yelling about her man looking at porn, I needed to write. I agree her problem was a little different, since her husband was actively looking for someone else online, but she seemed to be mainly upset by the porn. What is the big deal? Romance novels are filled with graphic stuff, but do our husbands flip out when they catch us reading them? Do they get irate when we drool over Brad Pitt or George Clooney?
My husband watches porn. When we are out, he looks at pretty women and I check out good-looking guys. As long as it’s just looking, it’s OK. Neither of us will go further because our relationship is far too precious to us. — Not Offended in California
Dear Not: It is not unusual for men to be visually stimulated, and many wives have learned how to use this to their advantage. However, for those who cannot control the porn viewing, or who engage in cybersex, it is a serious problem.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, 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.

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