Posted: Monday, September 29, 2008 10:17 pm
Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for three years, and we both teach at the same high school. Last semester, a new female teacher took quite a liking to my husband, who is 20 years her senior. They began meeting a few times a week for several months. Their affair was obvious, but I confirmed it by accessing his cell phone records. To make matters worse, they were not discreet and were the talk of both the faculty and students.
I cannot begin to describe the pain, humiliation and betrayal. I believe they stopped contacting each other over the summer, but school has started up again and my husband sees this woman every day. Even if they are not involved romantically, I believe she has a strong adverse effect on his mood. There is no way our marriage can survive this interference, but I wholeheartedly believe we can get past this if she is not in the picture.
Being a new teacher, she has no job protection. Should I go to the administration, expose the affair and get her fired? My husband may suffer a little, but will survive relatively unscathed. — Not Teacher’s Pet
Dear Not: We hope you are not blaming this young woman entirely for the affair. Your husband made the decision to cheat and acted on it. You can give him the choice of reporting the affair to the administration, taking a leave of absence or finding another position. Either way, please get some counseling because you have a lot of trust to rebuild, regardless of what happens to this woman.
Dear Annie: My brother, “Paul,” passed away unexpectedly, leaving my sister, “Sue,” and me as the only survivors. (Our parents died several years ago.) The three of us were pretty close and lived in the same neighborhood.
Last year, Paul and I suffered a rift in our relationship. After much soothing and a year’s time, I felt our relationship was well on the way to a complete recovery. Now I find that, although Paul’s will splits his estate evenly between my sister and me, he named only Sue as the beneficiary on his insurance policy. This was a very current policy. I don’t begrudge Sue the money but was hurt to realize that Paul must still have been harboring ill will.
I am distressed that these were the last thoughts he had of me. More than anything else, I would wish for more time with my brother. Please tell your readers to think very hard about how their actions could hurt their loved ones after they are gone. I am trying to work through this situation without being resentful and would appreciate your advice. — Saddened Sister
Dear Sister: No matter how current the policy, it’s quite possible Paul originally set up the beneficiary while you were still feuding and renewed it without changing it, assuming he could always do it later. You need to forgive yourself and Paul for treating your disagreement as if you had time to fix it. Our condolences.
Dear Annie: I really feel for “Shell-Shocked,” whose wife left him out of the blue. My wife did the same thing to me after 12 years of marriage. She threatened to take the children away if I fought her, so I allowed the divorce to happen quickly. She refused counseling and started seeing other men even before the divorce was final.
I helped start her successful business, shared household duties, took care of the children, bought her flowers for no reason, never missed a birthday, etc. Our friends and family were shocked and saddened. The children and I have been in counseling ever since.
Her behavior was so selfish and callous that I can’t believe this is the person I married. But I am not giving up. Somewhere out there are good people with a sense of commitment, trust and honor. The joy of a good marriage is remaining faithful and kind and working at it every day. — Getting Over It
Dear Getting: It sounds like you are already on the mend. Good luck to you.
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 9.29.08