Dear Annie: I have been married to “Jim” for over 20 years.
We love each other deeply, and I would never dream of hurting him. I recently had a friendly lunch with “Pete,” my oldest and dearest friend. Afterward, I realized I still have deep feelings for him. Pete and I have lunch regularly, and my attraction to him has been growing.
Jim and I are still madly in love, and we have a fantastic relationship. We are the parents of three young children, and I am now pregnant with twins.
Annie, I slept with Pete and am not sure whose babies they are. How can I solve this problem without hurting either of them? — Pregnant and Confused
Dear Pregnant: What is this? Days of Our Lives? If you love Jim and wish to stay married to him, you have to stop seeing Pete. Period.
You cannot be sleeping with both men and expect it won’t eventually destroy your family. This is not only your life you are toying with. You have a husband and children and your actions affect them, as well.
Tell Pete it’s over, get into marriage counselling with Jim, and when the twins are born, do a paternity test.
If they are Pete’s children, he deserves to know, and there should be an accurate medical history.
Dear Annie: I had to respond to your reply to “College Administrator.” It is not a college’s job to be the guardian of a student.
It is up to the parents to teach their children how to handle the increased responsibility of being away from home and getting their education. Unfortunately, in today’s world, many parents believe it is everyone’s responsibility but their own to teach their children how to manage money, how to do chores, how to have a good work ethic and how to become independent, contributing members of society.
Colleges are responsible for educating young adults, not raising them. As a parent, it is scary sending off your teen to be on his own.
But most universities require out-of-town freshmen to stay in dormitories, where there is a transition from family living to independent living, but they do not dictate what time the students wake up, eat, shower, study or go to bed. That is the student’s responsibility.
I hope “Concerned About My Son’s Future” gets her son the professional mental help he needs. It is heart wrenching to see your child in pain. However, unless the school was mentally abusing the student, I don’t believe it is responsible for his mental health. — Biloxi, Miss.
Dear Biloxi: We didn’t say the school was responsible for raising a child or making him healthy — only that parents expect school personnel to pay attention when a student is showing signs of mental illness. Here’s one more:
Dear Annie: You told “College Administrator” that “parents need to believe their child is being watched over and that serious problems will be noticed.”
That was most appropriate in light of the April 16, 2007, tragedy at Virginia Tech.
If only the red flags before that terrible incident had been checked into more thoroughly, 32 precious lives may have been spared. Our son was a student on that campus, and not a day goes by that I don’t think of those individuals.
Because of the unseasonable cold that day, my son decided not to go to lab ahead of schedule. Otherwise, he would have been parking his bike near Norris Hall about the time that horrific rampage began.
My heart goes out to those families as we all strive daily to uphold the Virginia Tech motto — Ut Prosim — “That I May Serve” — in their memory. — VT 1976 Alumnus & 1909 Mom
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.