Posted: Thursday, January 27, 2011 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I have been divorced from “Bill” for more than a year and separated for almost two. I am currently expecting his baby. Obviously, we were still sleeping together, but this pregnancy was a total accident.
I’ve always wanted a second child, and this should be a happy time for me, but I am miserable. I’ve tried many times to get back together with Bill, and until recently, we actually “dated” off and on. The divorce was his idea, and he’s the one who initiated the possibility of getting back together. I always went along because I thought I loved him and would never get over him.
The problem is, now that we are bringing another child into the mix, I’ve realized after much soul searching that I don’t love him anymore. Bill still treats me with the same amount of disrespect and hostility he always has. I put up with it out of low self-esteem and a fear of being alone. We tried counseling with no success because he hated it and refused to go.
Should I end things between us and raise the children on my own? I don’t want to sacrifice my happiness just so I can have a second income and (minimal) help with the new baby. I don’t want to fall into a depression again and become a shell of the person I used to be. I want to be a positive role model for my children, and I don’t like the person I am when I’m with Bill. Please give me your thoughts. — Pregnant and Feeling Alone
Dear Pregnant: Pregnancy seems to have given you a much-needed backbone and a clearer perspective on what behavior to model for your children. If Bill treats you terribly and getting back together depresses you, please don’t do it. He is legally obligated to provide financial support for the baby whether you reconcile or not. If you have family members close by, enlist their help.
Dear Annie: I come from a very large family. When we plan a family event, the crowd is big and the spaces are small.
The problem is my oldest sister’s husband. “Allen” is a total jerk and ruins all of these parties by bringing along several of his family members without asking the hostess for permission. These uninvited guests have no manners. They make a game out of passing gas. None of the other spouses feel the need to invite their parents or siblings, because they understand our limited resources. It does no good to make an announcement that it’s “Smith” family only. We’ve tried that.
My sister has admitted how much she hates that Allen does this, but she won’t do a thing to stop it. What can we do, short of never having another family party? — Anywhere USA
Dear Anywhere: If your sister can’t get Allen to stop dragging his relatives to your parties, she should at least convince him to call the hostess in advance and warn her. The hostess should then tell Allen that space precludes them from inviting additional people. If he brings them anyway, we think your sister should host the next family gathering. In fact, we’d insist on it.
Dear Annie: I read with interest the letter from “New York,” who is being verbally abused by his wife. He fears what she will say to people in their small town if he leaves.
I lived in a small town with a wife who was vindictive and verbally abusive. When I left, she said I had no friends and would not survive on my own. But I was amazed at the outpouring of support and the social invitations I received. I learned that people were much more observant than I realized. They knew what she was. Tell “New York” to go for it. It could change his life. — Been There
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 1.27.11