Posted: Friday, September 3, 2010 8:02 pm
Dear Annie: Last May, my 56-year-old husband met a woman on Facebook and quickly became infatuated. She lives in Germany. We live in Kansas.
My husband thinks he knows everything about her and believes she is completely on the up and up. In October, the two of them plan to meet in Boston and drive up to Maine for a week’s vacation. I was informed of this plan and was specifically told I was not invited.
My husband sees nothing wrong with this little excursion. He says he loves me and doesn’t think he needs to be bound by the “conventions of marriage.” If I get upset, he accuses me of not wanting him to be happy. I’m sure he’ll buy me a souvenir.
We’ve been married for 11 years and had a pretty solid relationship until this. Now I feel humiliated and bitter. Am I wrong? — Mrs. Jerk
Dear Mrs.: Married people who say they don’t want to be bound by the conventions of marriage are trying to justify an affair. Unless you also want an open marriage, this only benefits him. It’s time to talk to a lawyer. Then tell him to have a good time, and let him know you’ll be changing the locks. What nerve.
Dear Annie: My grown children found out their grandmother had died by reading it in the local paper. We were never close. At one time, my husband was having an affair, and my mother-in-law would call to give my husband messages from his girlfriend. After that, I hardly spoke to her, and she never came to visit again.
My husband and I worked out our problems and stayed married. But at his funeral, my mother-in-law sat next to me, displacing my children, in order to ask me to return several items she had given my husband years before.
Obviously, my relationship with her was not good, but my children kept in touch. They used to call her often. So when Grandma passed and no one told us, my children were very hurt. My children and I went to the viewing, and my sister-in-law would not even look at us. My son was so upset about the entire mess that he walked out. None of us attended the funeral. My daughter and I made a donation to her favorite charity and never received a thank-you note. Even my husband’s aunt, with whom we used to exchange Christmas cards, has stopped contact.
It has been a year, but I am still hurt and angry, and so are my children. They don’t have a lot of family left. I would like to contact my sister-in-law, but don’t want to get into an argument. Any suggestions? — C.
Dear C.: Your in-laws are not interested in a relationship with you, but we hope they are willing to stay in touch with your children. If the children can put aside their anger, suggest they contact their aunt to say hello and see how everyone is doing — no recriminations or lectures. Her response should give them an idea of whether or not things can improve.
Dear Annie: I am 79 and remember home viewings of the deceased. To me, it is easier to accept death after seeing the body laid out. It is so obviously not the person I knew and loved that it makes it easier to accept the death. I am comforted to think they are in a better place.
A dear friend died at 29, and since I could not attend the funeral, I have not really come to terms with it. Sometimes it seems she’s still alive. However, I hate the idea of taking pictures. It freaks me out. It is certainly not the way I want to be remembered. — Minnesota
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, 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 9.3.10