Dear Annie: I am unable to develop feelings of love for my husband of eight years. In fact, deep inside, I despise him.
This is my second marriage, his fourth. In our early years together, I began to notice obvious signs of his having an intimate relationship with another woman. He always refuted this vehemently and became angry with me for even saying such a thing. But the evidence I’ve accumulated is enough proof for me. I even saw this woman multiple times, and the looks she gave me were of the “cat that ate the canary” variety.
My husband has no idea that I have evidence, although I am now positive that he has stopped seeing this woman. My problem is that my heart has a layer of cement around it because he has insulted and disrespected my intelligence by continuing to lie about it. I cannot trust someone who is unable to be truthful.
If my husband would only come forward and admit his guilt, as hard as it would be, I would be able to go through the process of forgiving this betrayal. But he is unwilling. It saddens me that he is still robbing us both of a better marriage. Any advice?
— Heart of Stone
Dear Heart of Stone: Your heart isn’t cement. You care a great deal and are trying to protect yourself from the pain of being hurt. It’s possible that your “proof” doesn’t tell the whole story. Your husband may have been less involved than your evidence would indicate, in which case, he doesn’t believe he has anything to admit.
Please don’t play games with your marriage. If you have proof, show him. Tell him you are willing to forgive if he comes clean, and that not discussing it honestly could destroy your relationship. If this still doesn’t help you find the reassurance you need, please consider counseling, with or without him.
Dear Annie: Yesterday, my wife and I attended the funeral of a woman who died as a result of a fire. We were appalled when someone’s cellphone began to ring. Not only did this woman answer her phone and carry on a conversation during the service, but when her phone rang again, she did the same thing.
I think funeral homes or anywhere such a service is held should post signs telling attendees to turn off their cellphones during visitation hours and for the duration of the service. If someone cannot do this, they should not come. They can send flowers or a condolence card.
— Irritated by Lack of Thoughtfulness
Dear Irritated: There is no excuse for letting one’s cellphone disturb a funeral service (or a wedding, concert, play, movie or any other such event). But it’s not necessary to stay away entirely. People can put their cellphones on “mute” or “vibrate” and answer urgent calls out of the room without disturbing mourners and others in attendance. Please, people, be polite and respectful. You would want the same courtesy.
Dear Annie: “Second Wife” objected to her husband keeping photographs of his late wife in his office. My darling husband’s late wife was a sweet and lovely woman who died nine years before we married. Photos of her are all over the house, and her ashes have a place of honor on the dining room bookshelf.
I would not dream of asking my husband to remove these reminders of her. They were married 13 years. She was a dear friend and is the mother of my stepchildren. We consider her a beloved family member. Jealous of a dead woman? I think not.
— Married 10 Years to the Right Man
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.
— Creators Syndicate Inc.