Dear Annie: My boyfriend and I are in a long-distance relationship because he’s at college, 3,200 km away. We’ve been together for two years.
At first, everything was fine, but he soon became distant and unavailable to talk. I figured he just needed space. Whenever it bothered me, he would reassure me that nothing was wrong and swear he still loved me.
A week before I was scheduled to visit him, I became suspicious and snooped in his email. I know it was an invasion of privacy, but I was desperate. I came across several male contacts that he met through Craigslist. The details of the emails, along with explicit photographs, made me realize that the love of my life was having a homosexual affair with a man he randomly chose online. I was shocked.
I asked my boyfriend to explain. I told him I loved him no matter what. After a few awkward moments of silence, he said he was just curious and that it would never happen again. I believed him.
I’ve always considered myself very open-minded, but I feel sick and disgusted whenever I imagine him with a man. I don’t like myself for it. I also don’t know what to do about my relationship. Please help. — Lost and Confused
Dear Lost: We suspect your boyfriend is gay and always has been. He waited until he was 3,200 km away before he felt safe enough to do something about it. And he is likely to do it again. You should assure him that you care about him regardless of his sexual orientation, that he needs to be careful meeting strangers online and that you will always be his friend. But the romance is over, honey.
Dear Annie: I have been seeing my boyfriend, “Jay,” for three years. We have a wonderful relationship and hope to marry soon.
Here’s the problem: Whenever we take a trip home for the holidays, Jay insists on staying at his parents’ house and adamantly refuses to stay with my parents, who live just down the road. He says he doesn’t feel comfortable staying anywhere else.
What happens when we get married? My parents want to spend time with both of us and have even turned their office into a guest room for our benefit. To make everyone happy, Jay stays at his folks’ and I stay at mine, which causes tension between us during what should be a happy time of year. How do we compromise? — Sleeping Alone in Florida
Dear Florida: You seem willing to compromise, but Jay sounds a little too selfish and immature to understand that this is the type of thing committed, caring adults do for each other. If you are going to visit the parents for the holidays, you must alternate where you stay.
This can be done many ways, but you must insist on it. Otherwise, the two of you should stay in a motel.
Dear Annie: I had to write concerning your response to “Kansas Bride,” who complained that her husband habitually touches her breasts when they go out in public.
This is not a matter of arrested development that should be ignored. It is a form of abuse, plain and simple. He gets a kick out of making her feel embarrassed and uncomfortable, and then accuses her of overreacting when she tells him to stop.
He will not outgrow it. How could anyone ignore a public display of disrespect, especially when it involves obvious sexual overtones? She shouldn’t put up with it. — Faithful Reader in La Grande, Ore.
Dear Faithful Reader: We understand why you might consider this abuse, but we don’t believe his intention is to humiliate her. A lot of men are overeager children when it comes to women’s breasts (and other things), and they simply need to be taught that their lack of control will not get the juvenile reaction they are hoping for.
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, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.