Dear Annie: I am an unbelievably jealous woman. I don’t trust anyone around my husband, not even my sister. The root of this jealousy is the fact that several former boyfriends cheated on me, and sometimes it was with close friends and family members, my sister included.
My husband assures me he will never have an affair, but I fear he will find someone better. I sometimes cry myself to sleep thinking he’ll leave me because I’m not good enough for him. I love my husband very much and only want to make him happy.
I don’t want to push him away because I’m behaving stupidly. Please help me get a handle on my jealousy. — Lost in Nebraska
Dear Nebraska: Your past experiences have made you understandably insecure. But you are smart to recognize that extreme jealousy is a problem and realize you need to work on it.
Please get some counselling and learn ways to put your fears into perspective and not allow them to take over your life.
Dear Annie: I recently had a birthday party for my daughter who turned five. I invited grandmothers, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, cousins and friends, along with about 20 children.
One of the guests was my friend “Jean,” who recently had a baby. Jean is not the brightest bulb in the pack, but I love her just the same.
When I walked out to the deck, I was shocked to see Jean sitting in front of everyone with her breast pulled out of the top of her shirt, nursing her baby. She was completely exposed.
I think nursing is a wonderful, amazing experience. I nursed my children, too. But to undress yourself like that in someone else’s home is not appropriate, especially in front of older relatives and children.
My poor uncle was so embarrassed he went in the house and watched TV. I didn’t say anything, but now I feel I owe my guests an apology. Should I talk to Jean about it? — Embarrassed in Maine
Dear Maine: Some nursing mothers do not consider the sensitivities of others when they feed their babies. Since Jean was in your home, with your relatives, she should have found a quiet, private place to nurse her child.
You don’t owe your guests any apologies, but if the situation should arise again, you can gently escort Jean to a more appropriate area.
Dear Annie: I am compelled to respond to those men who say they can’t meet women. I am 61 years old and divorced. My husband was tall, dark and handsome, and a narcissistic bully who verbally and emotionally abused our children and me.
Men often tell me I’m attractive, but I had no intention of getting romantically involved again. However, because I enjoy the company of men, I checked several online dating communities.
What a treasure trove! You need to be vigilant and cautious, but an amazing thing happened. One of the many men with whom I was communicating became a good friend.
Before meeting him, I was already completely smitten with this intelligent, sensitive, amazing human being. I was surprised, but not turned off, when I met him and he was heavy, humble, unattractive and younger.
But he not only listens, he hears me, responds and genuinely cares. He once told me women never look in his direction. To them I say, your loss is my gain. I have the most wonderful man and hope I give him as much pleasure as he gives me. I am convinced that for every five people who look only at the package, there is one, like me, who sees the gift inside. — Woman With Gift
Dear Woman: Thank you for pointing out that good things can come in unexpected packaging. We are delighted you found each other.
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.