Dear Annie: A close friend of mine is a successful professional woman who went through a painful divorce several years ago when her husband was unfaithful. “Diane” swore off dating for a long time.
A year ago, Diane began seeing a man who is also a successful, well-known professional from our community. However, this man has a history of cheating on his wife and even left his marriage at one point to marry another woman, only to return to his wife and family when he realized he had made a mistake. But he continued to cheat. His marriage ended two years ago, and he soon moved in with someone else for several months. Two weeks after they split up, he began dating Diane. They are now engaged.
Several people have warned Diane about this guy, his past and the destruction he seems to cause. His own grown children refuse to speak to him. I worry that this man has great potential to hurt Diane. How can I get through to her that marrying him would be a huge mistake? She says because of her successful practice she would have the means to take care of herself if anything were to happen with the marriage, but it is her heart I am worried about. This leopard isn’t going to change his spots for her.
— Concerned in the Heartland
Dear Concerned: Diane is surely aware of her fiance’s past and has heard all of the warnings about his cheating, but they have not dissuaded her. Some women think they are “the one,” and the man will change for her. It rarely happens. Diane is determined to marry the guy and, as she says, has prepared herself for the consequences. She may feel this is her only chance to be married again. Or she may believe that all guys cheat, so what’s the difference. Unless she is willing to address these issues, the wedding will go on despite your misgivings. Please do your best to wish her well.
Dear Annie: My daughter and son are 32 and 28, and I am looking for a good answer when people ask me why I don’t have any grandchildren. They have both been in long-term relationships in the past, although they aren’t involved with anyone now, so it’s not looking too promising. But I’m wondering how to respond when people bring this up.
— Not a Grandma Yet
Dear Not: People are nosy and often ask nunofyerbizness-type questions. You don’t have to respond. But you are certainly welcome to hand them your children’s phone numbers and suggest they call and ask. Be sure to smile when you do it. And then change the subject. We think that will keep them from asking again.
Dear Annie: My youngest daughter, “Amy,” who is now 17, was the ultimate picky eater as a young child. She would not eat meat and wouldn’t touch any vegetables except corn. Her father would insist that she eat what was placed before her, which only led to tears, fights and vomiting. Her dad and I are now divorced. Amy is now healthy, and her weight is perfect for her height. Trips to the doctor confirmed what I suspected after reading an article in Scientific American — that Amy is a super-taster. That means she has many more taste buds on her tongue than the average person, making her more sensitive to subtle tastes the rest of us don’t notice. Forcing Amy to eat foods that do not smell “right” to her is pointless. This is a physical condition, not disobedience. Punishing a child who suffers from this condition is simply cruel.
— Mom of a Super-Taster
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