Dear Annie: I discovered that my 55-year-old husband of 35 years was texting, calling and receiving calls from a 27-year-old woman for a period of nine weeks.
Sometimes there were 200 texts in a day. I’m pretty sure she was sexting him, but I can’t prove it.
When I confronted him, I discovered he was also having breakfast, lunch and dinner with her and sometimes going to her apartment for coffee.
Even if there was no sex involved, it was wrong.
I was sad, angry and devastated. We talked about it, and he mentioned some things he needed me to change, and I agreed.
He says he never touched her and promised to stop contacting her altogether.
Six months later, I found out she was still calling him. They also went shopping together, and she was seen in his car.
He still says he didn’t do anything wrong because there was no sex. I am beside myself. I am living with a liar.
I love my husband and want to stay married. He says the same, but how can we stay together when he won’t take responsibility for what he has done?
My husband has always been the most honest person I know, so this is completely out of character for him. He’s also grossly overweight and bald. But he’s financially successful, and this woman has money problems.
Please tell me how to get through to him. — Want Her Out of Our Lives
Dear Want: You assume that this woman is only interested in your bald, overweight husband because of his money.
You could be right.
But he is interested in her for other reasons, and that is what you need to address.
He is besotted and has no intention of leaving her alone.
Even a temporary midlife crisis can damage your marriage permanently.
Get some counselling — with or without him — and figure out your next step.
Dear Annie: My friends and family believe I am wealthy and at times have asked for loans that are never repaid.
I am generous with people and have given money when it matters — once to get a family member into a treatment facility and another time to help someone who needed to sell their home.
My husband and I have saved and invested during our entire marriage, and I am continuing to do so in retirement.
Now I have money challenges myself and really don’t want to loan money, nor do I enjoy talking about someone else’s financial problems.
How can I tell people I don’t want to discuss their bills and would rather have a different conversation? —Not Mrs. Gotrocks
Dear Mrs.: By saying so and then changing the subject. It’s OK to tell them, “I wish I could help you, but I am no longer in a position to do so. How are the kids?”
Dear Annie: Like “No Signature, Please,” I also grew up with an abusive father and a mother who allowed it to happen.
I was in counseling for many years, and one counselor put things into perspective for me.
He said I should think of my father as mentally ill. This attitude allowed us to remain in touch for the remainder of his life and permitted my children to have a great relationship with him — one of the best gifts I could have given them.
Dad passed away 20 years ago. I can now look back and say that I am glad I was able to forgive him.
Now I am responsible for my elderly mother’s care.
I sometimes have to remind myself that I am a better person because I am doing my best to protect her, although she never protected me. —Another No Signature, Please
Dear Another: Bless you for choosing to take the high road. You have obviously become a stronger person because of it.
Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.