Dear Annie: My wife of 50 years told me that a longtime friend has called her twice trying to have phone sex. I exploded! She told me not to say anything because it would ruin our friendship with this couple.
I confronted him anyway and told him he disrespected my wife, me and all women in general. He did not deny what he had done. Frankly, I can’t blame him too much, considering his wife of 50 years.
Still, as far as I’m concerned, he totally crossed the line, and our friendship is over. My wife, however, continues to associate with both of them. What do you think?
— Mad in the Bluegrass
Dear Mad: We think you threw out quite a zinger about the man’s wife. We don’t care what she is like. It doesn’t justify his hitting on another woman, especially one who is married to a good friend. That’s a double betrayal.
We will give him one possible excuse, however. If he’s been married for 50 years, he is probably in his 70s or older, and it’s possible he is displaying early signs of dementia, which include loss of inhibition and personality changes. Please suggest he see his doctor for a checkup. As long as your wife has no interest in this fellow and wants to remain friends with his wife, it’s probably OK. If you notice changes in that direction, however, don’t hesitate to address it.
Dear Annie: I’d like to add my two cents about whether parents treat their children the same.
Mom, Sis and I live equidistant from one another. Sis still lives near the place where we grew up. Mom moved to a warmer climate. We call each other every weekend to catch up and stay in touch. Sis and I fly to visit Mom about once a year.
Mom visits Sis and her family a few times a year. But despite the many invitations I have extended, she will not visit me. When I had heart surgery five years ago, Mom did not come. When I was hospitalized for pancreatitis, Mom did not come. Of the 25 stage plays I’ve appeared in, Mom came to see exactly one. She will never see the home my wife and I remodeled. It seems the things that are important to me don’t matter much to her.
I suppose there is a certain amount of validity in her excuse that there’s nothing that interests her in my city, but when we visit our son and his family, we don’t care whether there is anything to do. We are simply glad to be with them.
Does Mom love me? Certainly. Does she love me as much as my sister? Probably. Does she treat us the same? Judge for yourself.
— That’s My Lot in Life
Dear Lot: We wish your mother could better appreciate what you are offering. So many parents write us saying their kids have no interest in being close. We suspect Mom simply feels more comfortable around her daughter than her son and daughter-in-law. It’s not uncommon. But it is unfair of her to penalize you for it. Keep in mind, traveling may become more difficult for Mom as time goes on. But until then, please tell her how you feel and ask her to make a greater effort to participate in your life. We hope she will.
Dear Annie: Tell “Lonely for Friends” to check the women’s clubs in her area. These are national philanthropic organizations that contribute time and money to various worthy community causes. The more involved I became the more people I met. It is an opportunity to do good while making friends.
I am sure “Lonely” would be welcomed into her local club. She can check online at www.gfwc.org to locate one in her area.
— Been There, California
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to email@example.com, 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.
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