Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2012 8:00 pm
Dear Annie: I am 38 and have been with my husband for 18 years. We have built a wonderful life with great kids, but circumstances led to a separation. I was the one who wanted it. My husband is a good guy, but he just hasn’t been able to give me the love I want. Something is always more important. He now says he’s willing to do anything to make this marriage work. But he’s promised that before, and after a short time, I am on the back burner again.
A few months ago, I ran into a man I hadn’t seen in years. He is divorced. One thing led to another, and, well, you can figure it out. Now, I have two really great guys in my life, and I want them both. My husband is a stable, sensible, great father. My guy friend is fun, sweet and the best lover I have ever had.
I know I am being selfish, and I feel guilty, but apparently not guilty enough to make a choice between them. How do I decide? — Used To Be Sensible in Milwaukee
Dear Milwaukee: There are children involved in this mess, and you should think of them. Ideally, you and your husband would work on this together and make your marriage stronger. It requires that you both get back into counseling, that he sticks to the plan and that you give up your boyfriend. If you are not ready to do that, please get a legal separation from your husband and put a custody and visitation plan into effect while you sort this out. Don’t wait too long. Your husband may decide he is entitled to look elsewhere for happiness, too.
Dear Annie: I was recently invited to a small, informal engagement party. The invitation said, “No gifts, please,” so I followed that. But when I arrived, there was a table with quite a few cards, a bottle of wine and other small boxes.
My uncle is getting married soon for the second time. He is having the ceremony and a dinner at a local restaurant. His invitation also says, “No gifts, please, only best wishes.” My sister says we must get him a gift, or we are being cheap, no matter what the invitation says. But I would think people would be miffed if they received presents they specifically said they didn’t want. I don’t want to make the same mistake again. Is a card not enough? — Not Sure
Dear Not Sure: When someone requests “no gifts,” that is exactly what it means. People who bring presents anyway are insecure about the request and feel they must buy something regardless. Of course, etiquette also says “no gifts” does not belong on an invitation because it implies that gifts are otherwise expected. If you insist on giving a present, we suggest a donation to their favorite charity in honor of their nuptials.
Dear Annie: The letter from “The Drunk’s Wife” brought back some memories.
My husband hangs out at a local bar with his buddies. One evening, when it was well past the time he usually comes home, I went to the garage to see whether he had driven the golf cart home yet. I found him lying between the wall and the cart. He had been trying to recharge the cart, but was so drunk he fell and passed out.
Once I got him into bed, I called the bar and told them if it happened again, I would call the police, and they could lose their liquor license. I said I was not only protecting my husband and those he encountered on the road, but also the bar business. The next day when he was sober, I told him what I did. He was angry, but he needed to know how many people would be affected by his drunk driving. Fortunately, the bartender now watches and limits his drinks, and my husband is more careful because he knows I’ll report him to the police. It’s because I love him. — A Caring Wife
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St. Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. 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 9.27.12