Hubby befriends prisoner

I’ve been married for five years. We’ve been very happy until recently.

Dear Annie: I’ve been married for five years. We’ve been very happy until recently.

Last year, my husband spent three days in jail due to a misunderstanding that got out of control. While there, he befriended a fellow inmate, and they exchanged contact information. The inmate has four more years to serve. The problem is, my husband keeps sending him money and care packages. So far, he has spent almost $1,600 on this guy. The inmate once asked for some pricey things from an inmate supply company, which my husband quickly bought.

One day, he called and I answered the phone. I told him it was quite nervy of him to order the most expensive items available. He said that he and my husband had an understanding. When I questioned my husband, he claimed he was only helping a “true” friend. I expressed my disapproval rather emphatically, and he replied that he works hard for his money and will spend it as he likes. Annie, he makes decent money, but not enough to be this inmate’s sponsor. I told him it was causing undue stress on me and that this guy was taking advantage of his generosity, but he doesn’t seem to care.

I blocked all calls from the prison, but this guy got ahold of a cell phone and informed my husband, who became upset with me. He removed the block and said, “How dare you undermine me?” This is causing us to fight a lot. I love my husband, but it’s ridiculous for him to think I would be OK with this. What should I do? — Headed for the Poorhouse in San Pedro

Dear San Pedro: It’s possible this inmate protected your husband during his short stint in jail and now Hubby feels indebted. This does not mean the inmate isn’t being manipulative and taking advantage. You can contact the warden at the correctional facility, although you risk angering your husband. We recommend you start putting aside money that your husband can’t get to and make arrangements to protect yourself when this inmate is released. He could be a danger to you.

Dear Annie: I’m 16 years old, and my parents just celebrated their 20th anniversary.

But they constantly fight. My dad sometimes doesn’t think before he speaks and says really mean things. He claims he loves my mom to death, but I hate seeing him treat her the way he parents me. His favourite phrase is, “Don’t disrespect me like that.” But he can sometimes disrespect my mother.

I hate it. Is this normal in a marriage?

Some really close friends of mine have parents who are divorced, and I don’t want to be one of them. How do I talk to my father about this? — Troubled Teen

Dear Teen: Not every couple that fights is headed for divorce. Sometimes people simply become accustomed to a pattern of behaviour. It might help if you talk calmly to both your parents about how much their angry words bother you and see if you can make them more aware of how they sound to others.

Dear Annie: I think you were off base when you suggested to “Ohio” that she take the sweet little girl (with the scary parents) into her home for a play date. With those parents, I would be concerned about a setup. What if they claimed “Ohio” had abused their daughter in some way? What a predicament. I wouldn’t put myself in that situation. Too many truly weird people are out there, and we are an extremely litigious society. — Protecting My Own Interests

Dear Protecting: How terribly sad that children cannot play together without someone worrying that one of their parents will make outrageous accusations.

Such a thing is possible but not likely, and all such accusations would be investigated. We feel sorry for that little girl, who not only has difficult parents, but now, apparently, has no one willing to play with her.