|Annie 10.02.07 |
|Dear Annie: I’m a 40-something man with two grown children. I’ve been married for 24 years but have had other relationships outside of my marriage. I’m not proud of that. My wife is a loving woman and a good wife. But in our 24 years together, there have been other women who gave me something I felt I was missing. |
The last woman left me for another man. I can’t blame her. She is a very beautiful and wonderful person and deserves someone who can make a commitment. The pain I felt when she left me made me think. Am I being fair to my wife by staying with her? I know she loves me, and if I leave, it will hurt her. But is that better than staying and having her find out that I’ve had extramarital affairs?
I do love my wife very much, and that may be hard for some people to understand. But after so many years, one’s needs change. Your children grow up and move away. What do you do with the energy and time? Take trips, or do things you couldn’t do when your children were small? I don’t think that would solve my problem. Can you give me some answers? — Missing Link in Texas
Dear Link: Your wife deserves a husband who isn’t constantly searching for satisfaction through other women, and you deserve to find out the nature of that empty spot you keep trying to fill through extramarital affairs. Before you weigh the pros and cons of leaving your wife, please seek therapy to gain some insight into your motives and behavior. It will help with whatever decisions are coming.
Dear Annie: I live next door to people who leave their windows open and have the television blaring most of the night, while their children play loud video games. They also run some sort of compressor all day long that’s right next to our patio.
This home was once our retreat to get away from the hustle and bustle of the world outside, and it has turned into noise pollution central. We have a large fence between our yards, but that doesn’t keep out the noise. While our neighbors seem like nice enough people, hearing noise when I’m trying to sleep or getting blasted with sound when sitting on the patio is starting to wear on my nerves.
I did put a water fountain out back, and that seems to cut down a bit on the surrounding noise, but I can’t keep it on all night. Any ideas? — Matt in Michigan
Dear Matt: First, try talking to your neighbors. Ask nicely if they would shut their windows or lower the volume on their entertainment systems at night. They may not realize how much they are disturbing you. If that doesn’t help, try earplugs or other sources of white noise, such as fans. There also may be noise ordinances in your area that they are violating, in which case you should notify the authorities.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Inquiring About Proper Procedures,” who asked if she needed to take flowers when a friend performed in a recital or play.
I act in community theaters. In the past four years, I have received cards and small trinkets from friends and family. It’s nice to know someone thinks what I did was special.
However, the sweetest thing happened to me this summer. A little girl who was one of my co-actors came up to me and whispered in my ear how much fun she had doing scenes with me and how she thought I did a good job. Then, she pulled her hand out from behind her back and gave me a clump of dandelions. Because she really meant it, her compliment was the best I have ever received, and those flowers will stay dried on my wall until they fall apart.
My advice to “Inquiring” is to do something small but sincere. A bouquet is lovely, but sometimes a bunch of weeds can mean more. — Appreciative
Dear Appreciative: How lovely — and the perfect example of how much the thought really does count.
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, 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 on 10.02.07