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He won’t help clean up his mess

By From page B5 | September 20, 2013

Dear Annie: I have been with my husband for 19 years, married for nine. I love him and never had any serious issues with our marriage until four months ago. That’s when I discovered that my husband was having an affair. He’s been lying to me about it for nearly three years, telling me his work schedule changed. We sought marriage counseling, but he wouldn’t go back after the first session.

He knows I have all of the details of his relationship with this woman. He says he’s trying to work on our marriage, but I am not sure he is sincere. I thought I could trust him, and he ripped my heart out.

Annie, I have processed all of the disappointments and believe I can move on. But my husband says he wants to save our marriage. I don’t want to set myself up to be hurt like this again. What should I do?

— Need a Word of Truth from Him

Dear Need: A man who truly wants to save his marriage would go back with you for counseling, work on the hard issues for as long as it takes and be completely transparent in all his dealings so you can learn to trust him again. Tell him that’s the deal if he wants you to stay. If he is unwilling to take those steps, it means he is not ready to change the mindset and behavior that led to the affair. We hope he will agree to do the necessary work. If not, please see a good lawyer and get counseling on your own to help prepare you for the next step.

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Dear Annie: A few of your readers have written saying that restaurant etiquette has flown the coop. Well, here’s my gripe:

Nothing bothers me more than watching an adult place a diapered infant on the table. There is nothing separating that diaper from the dishes. Restaurant tables are barely swept of crumbs before another customer sits down. I can only imagine what might leak out of that infant. Ewwwwww.

— M.L.

Dear M.L.: There’s worse. We’re sure to hear from readers who have witnessed infants being changed on the table while patrons were eating around them. We know parents appreciate those restroom facilities that are not only clean, but provide changing tables for just this purpose. There are also foldable, portable, washable changing pads that parents can bring with them and use anywhere (other than a restaurant table, please).

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Dear Annie: I had to respond to “Venting in Oregon,” the couple that was disgusted and annoyed by the noise from the neighbor’s two toddlers.

I had a noisy, screaming young child myself at one time. I spent hours every day dealing with the continuous screaming and chaos. It was a real party to take him to public places, especially when I had to go to the grocery store. I never knew what kind of meltdown would ensue. I only knew that others in the vicinity would make comments about me, my parenting style, my child’s behavior and anything else unkind and negative that they could think to say, always making sure it was loud enough for me to hear.

I was trying so hard, and it truly disturbed me to be criticized openly by strangers who had no idea what my days and nights were like with this child. He was finally diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder and began to receive appropriate therapies. It turned out he was brilliant once he could focus properly. He is now an absolutely lovely person who is well liked and respected by people who know him.

So to “Venting in Oregon,” if you can’t help your neighbors with their children, at least try to be as patient and gracious as you can manage. No one really knows what goes on in someone else’s home.

— Been There, Done That

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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.

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