Posted: Monday, December 5, 2011 8:02 pm
Dear Annie: Two years ago, my wife left me. I went to counseling immediately, and we worked hard to get back together for the sake of our children. We eventually reconciled. While I try not to dwell on the past, something still troubles me, and I’m not sure what to do about it.
A few days after “Jane” left me, I had a tearful phone conversation with my sister-in-law. She didn’t go into specifics, but made it quite clear that Jane had not been faithful to me. At the time, I was devastated. I called my wife and asked if there was someone else. She insisted there wasn’t. But my sister-in-law stands by her story.
I never discussed this possible affair with my pastor or my counselor, preferring instead to focus on what I needed to do to make myself a better husband and father. While I am confident that our love is now strong, I still have lingering doubts about Jane’s fidelity. My sister-in-law isn’t the type to make this up.
After two years, should I bring up the subject or simply keep it to myself and cope as best I can? — Not Sure
Dear Not Sure: Keeping it to yourself won’t diminish your suspicions, because this is still preying on your mind after two years. It’s possible that your sister-in-law misinterpreted something she heard or saw. But sometimes opening a can of worms is not worth the end result. Can you forgive an affair? If Jane insists she was faithful, will you believe her with your whole heart? Please discuss these questions with your pastor or counselor until you are at peace with your decision, whatever it is.
Dear Annie: We moved into a lovely house on a quiet street with friendly neighbors. The problem? One couple has a large dog that barks for hours on end.
“Fido” is kept in the fenced-in yard that faces our bedroom. Usually, he stands upright near their kitchen window, barking endlessly. When they come in after a night out, often as late as 2 a.m., the dog barks for several minutes and wakes us up.
After enduring this for months, we gently told the neighbors about it. They seemed genuinely surprised, but nothing changed. The next time Fido barked for three hours, we phoned them. We were told, “He’s a guard dog. That’s what they do.” We asked if they would please bring Fido inside at night, but they refused. They won’t bring the dog inside even in below-freezing weather.
We could call the neighborhood association, but I’m not sure it will help. How are we supposed to find quiet in our own home? Why are people so inconsiderate? — Noisy Dog Next Door
Dear Noisy: Please call the neighborhood association. Settling such disputes is part of its purpose. You also might discover that other neighbors have complained about this dog, which will strengthen your case should you decide to call the police and file a complaint. And finally, if the dog is being mistreated in the cold weather, notify your local humane society.
Dear Annie: “New Hampshire” said that “Workplace Dilemma” may legally be owed overtime. If “Workplace” gets a salary (as opposed to an hourly wage), she may not be entitled to overtime. Also, it depends on whether the overtime is authorized by the boss.
When I started a new administrative position, I was told that two staff members had been caught using overtime as a scam, so now all overtime was denied. They had been claiming the hours, even though their boss had not authorized it in advance. This suited me. If I came in early or stayed late, it was my decision. — California Worker
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email 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 12.5.11