Dear Annie: I am a 44-year-old woman in a quandary. I have been married for 21 years to a good man who is nine years my senior. He is supportive and affectionate. Most women would be satisfied. He plays the lottery more often than we can afford, but other than that, he’s a kind man. He is also a terrific, loving father to our two teenage boys.
Here’s my problem: Six months ago, I got in touch with my first young love through Facebook. We became comfortable chatting and texting. We eventually met face to face, and there was an instant attraction. We now text daily and talk on the phone at least once a week. We also get together once a month to go hiking.
We have hugged and kissed, but haven’t had sex. He feels that would be crossing a line that could never be erased. But we are both slowly giving in to our desire for each other. Our marriages are at a crossroads. Neither of us is intimate with our spouse.
My family is completely unaware that I am in love with my childhood sweetheart. Do I follow my head and stay in a safe, stale marriage? I love my husband, but I am not in love with him and haven’t been for years. I would, of course, wait for my sons to go off to college before changing my life. Do you have any advice for me?
— In Love With Another Man
Dear In Love: Imagine your husband reconnecting with an old flame and deciding to leave you because you aren’t exciting anymore. Wouldn’t you want the opportunity to discuss it? To point out how it would hurt the children? To help him understand that 21 years together should mean something?
We can assure you that six months of playing kissy-face is not the same as a day-to-day marriage. It’s easy to put effort and romance into a fling and believe it’s going to be like that forever. We understand that you are bored, but this is disrespectful to your marriage and your husband. Get counseling. See whether you can fix what’s making you unhappy before you make a mess of several lives, including your own.
Dear Annie: Could you please educate people about the dangers of tossing their babies and toddlers up in the air?
— Father of Five
Dear Dad: Forceful or violent shaking, bouncing and tossing can cause brain or spinal damage in infants. This is known as shaken baby syndrome. However, very gentle tossing (less than a foot in the air) is usually safe, provided you don’t drop the child or hit his head on the ceiling or a light fixture, which happens more often than you might think. Pediatricians are divided on what age is OK, but the more conservative say to wait until the child is at least 2 years old.
Dear Annie: “Puzzled in Gary, Ind.” asked why lesbians are attracted to older women with white hair. There could be another reason: the assumption that a woman is alone and might have assets to steal.
This happened to my friend “Sue.” A pair of women began attending her church and wrangled an invitation to stay with Sue while “waiting for the paperwork to be finished on their new house.”
They remained in their room when I visited. If I called, one of them answered the phone. If they left the house, they took Sue with them. After two weeks, Sue knocked on my door, quickly put her Bible in my hands and rushed back. In the Bible was a short note asking me to help her because she was afraid of her “guests.” I promptly called Sue’s son and daughter, who came to evict the intruders. These women had been trying to “help Sue” with her finances and were working on having their names added to her accounts.
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.
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