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Still around, but already gone

By May 12, 2011

Dear Annie: My wife recently had an affair. She told me she was in love with the guy and was going to leave me. Now she says she realizes he was only using her physically and she isn’t interested in him anymore.

This affair ended last winter, and they had no contact for a while. Our marriage seemed to be mending. However, about six weeks ago, my wife grew more and more distant and had no interest in being intimate. I then discovered she was texting this same man. When I confronted her, she denied she was doing anything wrong. Now if I bring it up, she becomes angry and refuses to discuss it.

I have a problem with this. I feel her continued conversations with this man are a violation of my trust. She betrayed me with this guy and claimed he was no longer a part of her life. Her justification is that she isn’t, in fact, seeing him and has no interest in resuming their affair. She says she is completely committed to me.

I still am hurt by his attentions and her continued communication with him. This is becoming a very sore spot in our relationship, and I fear it may lead to a divorce. Am I wrong to feel this way? I love my wife and believe she loves me, but I find it almost impossible to trust her. Please help.

— Brokenhearted Husband

Dear Broken: Your wife is still cheating. Whether or not she is seeing this man, she is still in touch with him, and that is an emotional betrayal. You are being far too accommodating. Tell her all communication with this man must stop immediately and permanently. Anything else means she values that relationship more than her marriage. And please consider counseling — together or on your own.

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Dear Annie: Our 35-year-old daughter, “Keri,” stole one of our credit cards and ran up a bill of nearly $30,000. She did this just after we signed for a new car for her — on which she has discontinued making payments.

Keri has a good job, and we don’t understand where her money goes. My husband had to put off retiring this year in order to meet her obligations. He is afraid to cut her off, because each time we get into an argument about not being paid back, Keri threatens to keep us from seeing our grandchildren.

What can we do when she repeatedly promises to make good on these debts, but continues to fail?

— Heartbroken Couple in Indiana

Dear Indiana: Keri uses the grandchildren as leverage because it works. Unless you want this situation to continue forever, you must be willing to call her bluff. (You might remind her that she stole your credit card and you can report her to the police.) Keri could benefit from talking to a credit counselor (nfcc.org), who will help her set up a budget she can live with. We also recommend Debtors Anonymous (debtorsanonymous.org). After all, you will not always be around to bail her out, and it’s time she learned that.

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Dear Annie: This is in response to “Tired of it All,” whose husband developed erectile dysfunction about 15 years ago and stopped wanting sex.

I could have written that letter. My husband didn’t want to touch me or have sex. We also tried hormone testing. Well, it turns out that there was nothing wrong with his hormones and he had been having lots of sex — it was just with men.

For years, I believed I was somehow at fault. I never knew why he didn’t want me. Now it all makes sense, but he did a lot of emotional damage along the way. I found help through the Straight Spouse Network (straightspouse.org). “Tired” should look into the possibility that her husband is gay.

— No Name, City or State

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Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. 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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