Lap dance may destroy our marriage

Two years ago, my husband attended an out-of-town business convention. While he was away, I received a call from his cellphone. In the background, I could hear laughter and loud music, and the muffled voice of my husband saying, “My wife wouldn’t really approve of this.”

Dear Annie: Two years ago, my husband attended an out-of-town business convention. While he was away, I received a call from his cellphone. In the background, I could hear laughter and loud music, and the muffled voice of my husband saying, “My wife wouldn’t really approve of this.” My heart sank.

When I interrogated him for nearly two hours the next morning, my fears were confirmed. He said the company sponsored an excursion to a strip club.

I was home thousands of miles away caring for our five children, and he was off on “business” looking at naked women.

He denied receiving a lap dance, which was my initial suspicion, and insisted the comment was in reference to his smoking a cigarette.

Recently we were out with one of his co-workers, who brought up the hilarious time when “Bob’s” cellphone dialed me in the middle of a lap dance. I was furious. Now he says that yes, he did receive a lap dance paid for by the company. He claims he lied because he knew how angry I’d be.

I am not a prude by any means. I am a fun-loving, hardworking, adventurous wife. His needs at home have always been met with a smile.

To be disrespected in such a manner is beyond my understanding. This situation could be a marriage wrecker if I don’t figure out how to get past it. He refuses counselling. What should I do? – Mortified in the Midwest

Dear Mortified: Enlightened companies do not undermine their employees’ marriages by encouraging visits to strip clubs and paying for lap dances.

It is not only vulgar and juvenile, it can intimidate otherwise sensible men into participating in order to be part of the group (and can be viewed as sexual harassment toward female employees).

Your problem is compounded by the fact that your husband lied.

If this is the only instance where he has had a lapse in judgment, please try to forgive him.

You have five children, and a one-time idiocy should not break up your marriage. Since we understand how difficult this is, please get counselling on your own.

Dear Annie: I was married for 10 years, divorced for six, and am going to marry again soon. I have not used my maiden name in more than 15 years and don’t plan to, since I have children from my first marriage.

When I marry again, would it be OK to hyphenate my current name to my second husband’s name? I’ve been told it’s a good way for all my children (current and future) to share at least one of the same last names. Is this proper? Would people frown on it? My ex-husband and I have a good relationship for the kids’ sake, and I don’t think he would mind one way or the other. – Mrs. Smith-Thomas-Jones

Dear Mrs. STJ: The nice thing about names is you can use whatever you like, as long as it isn’t for fraudulent purposes. There is no “proper” thing to do. Use the name you prefer, hyphenated or not.

Dear Annie: I would like to respond to “Shorty’s Mom.” My 19-year-old daughter is not quite 4 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 85 pounds.

We also have encountered the children’s menu situation with my daughter usually ending up in tears.

When she was a freshman in college, I took her to lunch at a nice restaurant and the hostess asked if my daughter would like the children’s menu.

I responded with a smile, “She’s in college, so we let her have the ‘big girl’ menu now.”

All of us laughed, the hostess apologized, and my daughter and I were able to enjoy our meal. Since then, she has used the same line. A little humour makes the point gracefully and helps avoid the tears. – S.C.

Dear S.C.: Bravo for teaching your daughter how to deal with this unpleasant situation in a mature, sensible manner.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. Please e-mail your questions to

Just Posted

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Central Alberta Yogathon cancelled Saturday

Due to air quality concerns the fourth annual event will take place Sept. 15

City Hall Park construction begins next week

Construction to update Red Deer’s City Hall Park is set to begin… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Jazz at the Lake begins

The 16 annual event began Friday and runs until Sunday in Sylvan Lake

Photos: Lunchtime tunes on Alexander Way

Final concert of the summer

WATCH: Feasting at Red Deer Ribfest this weekend

Ribfest runs until Sunday at Rotary Recreation Park

Thousands to attend funeral service for officers killed in Fredericton shooting

FREDERICTON — Hundreds of people have lined the route of a funeral… Continue reading

Calgary police officer seriously injured

CALGARY — The Calgary Police Service says one of its officers was… Continue reading

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

MONTREAL — Canadian politicians are adding their voices to the international reaction… Continue reading

‘Four of a dozen kids will not make it:’ Tina Fontaine’s family healing together

WINNIPEG — Melissa Stevenson was just starting her career 18 years ago… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $16 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $16 million jackpot… Continue reading

Hundreds of neo-Nazis march in Berlin, protected by police

BERLIN — Hundreds of neo-Nazis waving flags with the colours of the… Continue reading

Romanian trucker is Genoa bridge’s 43rd victim

GENOA, Italy — The Latest on the Italy bridge collapse (all times… Continue reading

1 dead, 6 injured after building collapse in Nigeria capital

ABUJA, Nigeria — An emergency response chief says one person is dead… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month