Dear Annie: I have been friends with "Carla" and "Roxanne" for more than 17 years. Now Carla and I both have heard rumors that Roxanne's husband has been messing around.
As good friends, we feel that we should tell Roxanne what we've heard, but we're afraid her husband will lie his way out of it and she will hate us. Our husbands tell us to keep quiet, but, Annie, we both agreed if the tables were turned, we would want to know the truth.
Roxanne and her husband have two small children and are talking about having another. She also has talked about quitting her job. We would hate for that to happen and then have her discover the affairs later -- when she has no income of her own to fall back on.
How do we get solid proof that he's cheating? Should we confront him? What do we do? Wanting To Do the Right Thing
Dear Wanting: You have heard rumors, nothing more. Unless you stumble upon more compelling evidence, you don't really know what's going on. Your heart is in the right place, but usually it's better not to interfere in someone else's marital problems. If Roxanne asks you a direct question about her husband's extra-curricular activities, you may tell her what you've heard, but please don't go looking for trouble.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Child-Free by Choice." I am 50 years old and never had the slightest desire to have children. My aunt once told me that I was selfish not to provide my mother with grandchildren. Here's what I consider selfish:
UWomen who have children they can't afford and expect the rest of us to pay for them.
UWomen who have children while married to, or involved with, men who abuse them. These men are highly likely to abuse the children, too.
UPeople who have children hoping to save a failing relationship.
UPeople who keep having children because they are trying for a particular sex.
UAlcoholics and drug addicts who continue to drink and do drugs while pregnant, knowing the effects it could have on the child.
I'm glad some of us realize we are not parent material. Child-Free and Happy
Dear Child-Free: You aren't the only one who thought so. Read on:
From Connecticut: I'm 38, my husband is 43, and we've been married five years. Neither of us has a burning need to reproduce. Two years before our wedding, my husband noticed a couple in their mid-40s, enjoying themselves on a docked boat. The name of the boat? "Instead of Kids." That did it for us.
East Coast: I was married at 18, had my first child at 19, and my third at 25. When I asked to have a tubal ligation, I was told, "You're too young. Wait until you're 30." On my 30th birthday, I asked again to have the surgery and was told to wait three more years.
All this time, I've been taking either birth-control pills or injections that put me at risk for blood clots and stroke, and have kept my weight and blood pressure up, just to keep me from having that extra kid I don't want. I love the children I have, I just don't want any more.
Midwest: I'm 41 years old, married 11 years. I have no urge to put on excess weight, throw up in the morning, have swollen ankles and go through hours of labor.
I believe people are jealous that I have a higher standard of living and a more carefree lifestyle. I come and go as I please. I buy whatever I want or need. They, on the other hand, have to plan their life around the needs and wants of their children.
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