Dear Annie: Five years ago, my wife had an affair with my best friend, left me and married him.
She now has total custody of our two kids. She lied to the court and to our friends and said I was an abusive husband.
Everyone believed her, and in the small town where we live, it has left me feeling like an outsider.
I can’t stand it here anymore. But if I move somewhere else, I will lose what little contact I have with my children.
I also have a good job, and this would not be a good time to try finding another.
Should I stay and attempt to counter all the lies that have been spread about me?
Or do I move away and start all over again? — Alone in Oregon
Dear Oregon: You are tremendously important to your children, and if you leave, they may consider it abandonment. Decent parents avoid being punitive toward each other in order to make their children’s lives easier.
This doesn’t seem to be the case here, and we worry about what might happen if you moved. Will your ex make it difficult for the children to spend time with you in the summer and over holidays?
Will you continue to make the necessary effort to stay emotionally close or decide it’s too hard and give up? Could you move to a nearby town where your reputation could be rehabilitated while maintaining the same contact with your children?
We understand the urge to get out of Dodge, but please consider your children’s needs before making a decision.
Dear Annie: My wife and I are in our late 80s and need help with those who greet family members with kisses on the mouth.
Our young great-grandchildren and their parents do not realize the risk of passing colds and flu to the elderly this way.
At our age, we do not recover from colds as easily as we did when we were young. We could even die as a result.
When someone tries to kiss me on the mouth, I quickly turn my cheek to them and save my kisses for my wife. With the flu season upon us, maybe this reminder would help convince people of the dangers of this practice. I have checked with our doctors and nurses, and they agree with me.
How do I deal with this without hurting anyone’s feelings? — Turning Cheek in New Hampshire
Dear New Hampshire: These are family members, so be honest with them.
Explain that you love the affection, but you worry about catching something that will put you in the hospital.
Ask your relatives to avoid kissing you on the mouth, and then have them instruct their delightful children to do the same and tell them why.
There is no reason for anyone to be hurt or offended by your very reasonable request.