Annie’s Mailbox – 2.13.12
Posted: Monday, February 13, 2012 10:25 pm
By: By Kathy Mitchell & Marcy Sugar
The Messenger 02.13.12
Dear Annie: “Ron” and I have been living together for more than a year. I love him and believe he loves me. We are both in our 60s and retired.
Ron is good to me in all but one way: He can’t seem to cut off contact with his old girlfriend. He was still with this woman when we met, although he was the one who broke it off. He hadn’t heard from her in months, and then she called him on his birthday. That started it.
I told Ron I wouldn’t share him and don’t believe it is good for our relationship if he keeps in touch with her. I admit I went a little nuts at first, and it affected our relationship. While I was out of town with my sisters, he made plans to see her, although I don’t know whether he actually did. This betrayal caused me to have a mental breakdown, and I ended up in the hospital for a week and had therapy for another two.
After that, Ron told me he loves me and wants us to spend the rest of our lives together. I thought we were happy. Now I find that he is still in touch with this other woman. So far, it is only via Facebook, but I am afraid a personal meeting is only a matter of time. I can’t understand why he doesn’t see how much this hurts. It shows a total lack of respect for me and our relationship. I want to trust him, but it’s hard when he lies. Any thoughts? — Expecting To Be Two-Timed
Dear Expecting: You have two problems: The first is that Ron is undermining your relationship by staying in contact with this woman. The second is that you allow that contact to push all your buttons into hyperdrive. Not all communication between exes is threatening, but Ron seems determined to keep in touch with his, and this is not a good sign.
Talk to Ron as calmly as possible, and explain how hurtful and disturbing it is to you when he goes behind your back to contact his ex. Ask why he feels the need to do this. If the answer doesn’t resolve the problem for you, we don’t know whether the relationship can be saved.
Dear Annie: We have boxes of memorabilia associated with each of our several children who are now in their 40s and 50s. Most of it is good report cards, honors and achievements, cute drawings they made, etc. However, some of it is not so good. We also kept the disappointing report cards, unfavorable teacher comments, letters and other documents that recall failures, problems and disappointments, etc.
We don’t know what to do with all this stuff. Should we give each child their own things as is? Should we pass along only the good things? Should we toss all of it out? My husband favors giving them only the good stuff, but I would not have wanted my parents to make those decisions for me. What do you say? — Undecided Mom
Dear Undecided: It’s sweet that you still want to protect your children from their childhood flaws, but they are not fragile little flowers. They can handle disappointing report cards and failing notices from teachers. They’ve already lived through it. We vote to give them everything and let them decide what to keep.
Dear Annie: I, too, am a “Worried Driver.” A few years ago, I purchased 100 bumper stickers on the Internet that say “Hang Up and Drive.” We put one on our car, and my daughter and I have been handing them out to anyone who sees it and shares the sentiment. I have about 20 left, and when they are gone, I will buy more.
I am very passionate about this subject, but I would not risk my life to make a hand signal to a perpetrator. Most people who text or talk while driving think their business is more important than anyone’s safety. But if they can read, they get the message. — Sandra in Fort Myers
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email questions to email@example.com or write to Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.
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