Dear Annie: I am a 26-year-old married woman. I love my husband and would do anything for him, and I know he would do the same for me.
The problem is, I contacted an old friend after learning his uncle had died. This guy was my first love. I only reached out to him to offer my condolences. But then the conversation went further, and we ended up reminiscing about the past.
Since then, we’ve been talking and texting and recently began to talk about having sex. I know I shouldn’t give in to these impulses, but really, I want to. My friend has not pressured me, so I don’t understand why I feel this way. What should I do?
— Nameless in the USA
Dear Nameless: You should delete his phone number from your records and stop before you make a mess of your life. It is not unusual to fantasize about another partner. A lot of married people do, because marriage can become routine, and an old flame adds excitement. But you need to live up to the commitment you made to your husband to “forsake all others.” Having an affair would hurt him terribly and possibly lead to divorce. Put some of that extra energy into reigniting the passion in your marriage. If you cannot do that, please consider counseling so you can remember why you married in the first place.
Dear Annie: Two years ago, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. Mom has spent her life doing whatever she wants, living wherever it suits her and treating people however she chooses, like it or not. She considers herself a free spirit. My brother resents the fact that Mom has hardly been a part of our lives since we were little kids.
Mom recently moved in with an ex-husband because she doesn’t like the available rental places. She’s spent her life manipulating people to get what she wants, and most of the family has distanced themselves from her. As a result, I feel guilty that she’s so alone and send her money from time to time, whether or not I can afford it. Everyone asks why I’m so susceptible to her manipulations, including my father, my brother and all of my friends. I am mad at myself, too, yet I just sent her more money because her new housemate mailed me a bill for $300 to help pay for their heat — in August. This man has a long history of stealing from me even when I was a teenager. I think I may have simply paid for his propane gas for the winter.
Should I just keep giving or let her lie in the bed she has made for herself like everyone I know has said I should?
Dear H.: Please listen to your own feelings instead of the people around you. Giving her money makes you feel like a sap, but if you don’t, you feel guilty. And with everyone telling you what an easy mark you are, it only compounds your confusion. We know you care about your mother in spite of her selfishness.
This is actually less about Mom and more about you. If giving her money now and then makes you feel better about yourself, it’s fine to continue, but we don’t recommend you advertise your generosity to your friends and family. And if you decide that your kindness is money down the drain and unappreciated, it’s OK to stop. There’s no reason to feel guilty when you are being taken advantage of.
Dear Annie: This is in response to the letter from “California,” who claimed a felony could never be expunged under California law. This is not true.
Many nonviolent felony convictions are subject to expungement, and it is a fairly easy process. Readers can check the California courts website at courts.ca.gov.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please 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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