Dear Annie: Last week, I found provocative pictures on my husband’s digital camera of his female co-worker in a hotel room, wearing skimpy lingerie and one of his ties.
My husband was not in any of the pictures.
This woman is half his age. He claims he lent her the camera and his tie so she could take pictures for her boyfriend. I also found soft porn in his computer’s history. My husband was recently diagnosed with low testosterone, for which he is taking medication, and claims he couldn’t do anything even if he wanted to.
I am sick to my stomach about this and don’t want to be a fool for believing such a story. Even if he wasn’t in the hotel room, I can’t stand the thought of him being in possession of such pictures and told him one of them better find another job.
We have young children. My husband refuses to leave the house, so we now live like roommates and have stopped communicating completely. I can’t continue like this. Please help. — Crushed Wife
Dear Crushed: First determine whether your marriage can be saved. To do it, you’d have to rebuild your trust in your husband, and he would have to be completely honest and transparent with you. In order to find out if you can reach that point, get counseling and insist your husband come with you as a sign that he is serious about your marriage. Do this for your children’s sake.
Dear Annie: I have an awkward relationship with my half-sister. She was wonderful when we were kids, but now she avoids contact to the point of being obvious and hurtful. I don’t know why.
Before my marriage, she told such horrible lies about my fiance that my father didn’t attend the wedding. We now live in different countries and visit infrequently. I always tell her when I’m coming, but she is never available to see us. Once, she said she was terribly busy and suggested I phone when I arrived.
When I called, she casually mentioned she was having a relaxing weekend, catching up on her ironing.
I’m OK with it now. The dilemma is that she is getting married. She e-mailed that it would be a small wedding and she’d understand if I couldn’t come.
We are financially strapped, so I was sort of relieved. I told her we were unlikely to make it, but to let me know the date and I’d try to get a cheap last-minute ticket. She never wrote back.
I know she sent out invitations weeks ago, but I haven’t received one. I intended to send a gift, but I get the distinct impression she wants me to leave her alone.
Yet, if she did send me an invitation and for some reason it got lost, ignoring her wedding could make things worse. What do I do? — Estranged Sister
Dear Sister: Send a gift anyway. This is your sister. She is getting married. Even if she didn’t invite you to the wedding, it is gracious of you to send a card and a small gift to wish her well. We hope she has the decency to say thank you.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Not Family Yet,” whose fiance’s “Grandpa Joe” had molested the children. She asked if she should speak up.
My stepfather molested me as a child. He had three daughters from a prior marriage, but they never said a word. When I was a teenager, I told my mother about the abuse. She promptly divorced him and I received therapy.
Had one person spoken up earlier, I could have been spared. I pressed charges, and although it was a bitter fight that I did not win in court, I did open the public’s eyes to this man.
Please tell anyone who has been abused to report it immediately. You may be the one to save someone else. — Stop the Abuse Now
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column.