Dear Annie: Four years ago, I caught my husband lying and cheating in an emotional affair (he says there was never any sex). He and this same woman had been cheating for 10 years. She is married with grown children. She never told her husband what she did, so she has gotten away with it.
We went to counseling, and it seems that my husband is on the straight and narrow. I love him dearly. We’ve been married for 25 years, have three wonderful children and get along wonderfully.
The problem is, I am always worried that he is still doing things behind my back with this woman. He swears up and down that he has no contact with her. He claims he caught her lying and doesn’t even want her as a friend. But I know he has forgiven her for lying at least three times before. I honestly do not believe what he tells me, and it is affecting my peace of mind.
I have considered moving just to get out of this small community where everyone knows everybody else. I want to punch her every time I run into her. Should I tell my husband how I feel? We have spoken about the past so many times that neither of us wants to bring it up again. He knows how much he hurt me.
— Dazed and Confused
Dear Dazed: Trust is difficult to regain, and it is made more complicated when your husband lives near the Other Woman. It is important that your husband be completely transparent in all of his dealings. Can you check his phone or email whenever you worry he is slipping back into old habits? If he hides things from you, you have cause for concern. But otherwise, please try to put your concerns in perspective. And don’t feel squeamish about discussing your worries with your husband, as long as you don’t make accusations that put him on the defensive. If necessary, go back for counseling and work on this.
Dear Annie: My cousin’s son recently married. Aside from my cousin’s immediate family, there were only a few family members invited to the wedding. It wasn’t a small wedding. There were at least 200 guests.
The problem is the way my cousin and her husband acted toward us. My cousin seemed upset all evening. She was fairly cordial, but acted stressed. Her husband, whom we’ve known for 35 years, did not greet or acknowledge our presence. He was cold and absolutely rude. They sat at our table and had nothing to say. While the bridesmaids gave speeches, they occupied themselves with their cellphones. We felt unwelcome. The bride barely looked our way and didn’t give us a chance to congratulate her, although the groom briefly greeted us.
I want to tell my cousin how rude her husband was, but I’m not sure how to approach her. How do we handle this?
Dear N.J.: You are making a lot of assumptions about your cousin’s behavior. We think her stress and her husband’s coldness had nothing to do with you. More likely, their behavior was a result of wedding stress (and possibly the bride). And remember that sitting with the groom’s parents is a great honor. If they wanted to insult you, they would have seated you much farther away. Unless they do other things that are deliberately rude, please say nothing.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Boondoggled in Boise,” whose father refused to let the granddaughter see his coin collection and demanded it be sold through a third party. Why didn’t you suggest that the sons talk to the third party and buy the coins for fair market value?
Dad doesn’t need to know his kids are the buyers. He gets to sell the coins the way he wants, and the brothers get to keep them in the family.
— Know About Difficult Relatives
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.