Dear Annie: I have been married to my husband for only one month, and he already has had a brief fling with a woman from his office. This caught me completely off guard. I thought we were happy, and I am pretty sure my husband enjoys being married to me. He always says I am much more than he deserves.
I have repeatedly asked him why he would cheat on me. He says he needs more sex with different females to be satisfied. What should I do?
— New Bride
Dear New Bride: Your husband is telling you quite frankly that he needs more than one sexual partner. This means he is likely to cheat on you multiple times in the future. Unless this is your idea of a good marriage, we don’t see much hope. Get checked for sexually transmitted diseases, and then see a counselor and figure out your next move.
Dear Annie: I am in my mid-20s, married with children. My mother lives with us. In fact, I’ve never lived without her, and now I want my family to have a place of our own. Having Mom here has been good because it helps cut expenses and she watches our kids. I love her so much, and she is my best friend, but I am really ready to do everything on my own.
When I asked my mother about getting a separate place, it really hurt her. She cried because she wouldn’t be with her grandchildren every day. She was so upset that I gave in and said maybe we should just get a bigger house.
Annie, I don’t want a bigger house. I want a small place with just my husband and children. We thought about getting a two-family home so Mom would be close by but separate. We can’t afford a brand-new house, although we are saving for one. How can I get Mom to understand?
— Lost in Mother’s Feelings
Dear Lost: You don’t need Mom to understand. You are a married woman with a family. You are entitled to have a place of your own. Mom is never going to like it, but she can get used to it. And she will still see the grandchildren as often as you permit, which we suspect will be every day. And it won’t be that easy for you, either, but it’s time to cut the apron strings.
Discuss this with your husband and form a united front. Then tell your mother that this is what you are going to do, you’re sorry if she’s upset, you love her and she is welcome to visit.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “Trying To Avoid a Christmas Circus this Year,” whose mother has been giving unequal gifts to the grandchildren.
I have six grandchildren who receive different monetary gifts, and it has nothing to do with favoritism or need. I love them all equally, and their parents are well off financially. However, three of them are appreciative and send me thank-you notes. They are three sweet boys who love to hug and visit with me when I’m at their home. The other three, however, are spoiled and wouldn’t know a thank-you note from a grocery list. They take my gifts for granted and barely say hello when I visit.
I finally decided that I would give everyone presents and try to form relationships with all the grandkids, but would no longer serve as an ATM for the ungrateful, uncaring ones. As far as I’m concerned, a gift is something one chooses to give and should not be expected or judged.
Dear Texas: Although you say it is not a matter of favoritism, you have, in fact, learned to favor those children who are affectionate and grateful (which is not surprising). Young children need to be taught manners. While the parents should be doing that job, you are also in a position to be their instructor. You will be giving them lessons that will serve them well in the future.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
— Creators Syndicate Inc.