Dear Annie: In the 20 years I’ve been with my partner, I’ve had suspicions that he’s cheated. Whenever I confront him, he becomes angry and tries to turn it around on me. I finally decided I had to know, so I bought mini digital voice recorders and left them on in the house whenever I’d leave for work. Lo and behold, my suspicions were correct.
My problem now is how to confront him with the proof. I’m not proud that I’ve been spying on him for weeks. But he would never own up to his cheating unless it was indisputable. I know he will be angry with me, but what he has done is totally wrong.
He keeps telling me we need to work on us. How is that possible when he makes a phone call to his “girlfriend” every morning after I leave for work? This is making me physically ill.
— Had To Know
Dear Had: Your boyfriend’s behavior made you suspicious, so you took the step of finding proof. And you found it. Stop berating yourself for doing a little private detective work. Your boyfriend is cheating. He will continue to make excuses and try to put the blame on you. Tell him what you discovered, show him the proof, and tell him it’s over. And mean it.
Dear Annie: Christmas is just around the corner. Teachers appreciate the gifts from their students, but I know many teachers who spend their own money on classroom needs. Please suggest that students consider giving teachers a gift card to places that offer school supplies and also for coffee shops, microwave soups and other consumables.
Similarly, our senior citizens could benefit from practical items like store and restaurant gift cards, postage stamps, etc. They do not need any more knickknacks to gather dust.
Dear J.M.: You have made some excellent, sensible suggestions, and we hope those who are giving holiday gifts to teachers and seniors will keep them in mind.
Dear Annie: I felt a need to respond to “Enough,” the 57-year-old male who has been divorced for 26 years and hasn’t dated for the past three. He is adamant that he will date only women he finds physically attractive (translation: not fat), but his family feels he is cutting himself off from meeting some very nice women.
I am a 52-year-old female, divorced for two years and built like a plus-size model. I am intelligent, witty, neat, well-dressed, make a decent living and am told I am pretty. I had one blind date with a man I met through an online dating service. We had emailed each other for a week and chatted on the phone several times. I figured we had had such great conversations that my looks wouldn’t matter. I was wrong. He said there was no “spark.” I then tried to hire a professional matchmaker, and when I described myself as “Rubenesque,” she said she has a hard time finding men among her clientele willing to date women who wear a size larger than 12.
While I have no interest in a man who would summarily dismiss me as a potential date solely based on my size, I am beginning to wonder where all the real men are. There have to be some decent guys out there who are not so shallow and ignorant. So far they appear to be pretty scarce.
— Plus-Sized Good Catch
Dear Catch: In all fairness, being attracted to someone is not insignificant. But just as beautiful people can seem ugly if they have rotten personalities, a person of any size can become attractive by discovering a kind, warm, funny, intelligent human being inside. The problem is, few people are willing to let those relationships blossom, giving outward appearance more “weight” than it deserves.
Dear Readers: Happy Halloween. Please dress your trick-or-treaters in flame-retardant costumes that don’t obstruct walking or vision, and be sure to accompany them.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, 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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