Annie's Mailbox Unsettled issues are creating concern
Dear Annie: My problem is, I need therapy. Let me explain. My husband has worked at his company for 10 years and there's never been a problem, but his employer recently hired a woman with a questionable reputation.
Last month, I found out my husband had cheated on me two years ago. He has promised it will never happen again and that he learned his lesson. The problem is, I can't stand the thought of him working with this woman. The idea of him even talking to her makes me sick. He also has made it clear that no matter how it makes me feel, he's not going to go out of his way to avoid her. That really hurt.
I'm truly considering ending my marriage because I can't get it out of my head that he might speak to this woman. I cannot afford a therapist, but I know I need help. Any suggestions? Fruitcake
Dear Fruitcake: You do need help, but not because you are a "fruitcake." The real problem is that your husband cheated on you and you don't trust him. He also isn't doing enough to reassure you that he will be faithful. This woman's presence simply brings to the surface all the issues that haven't been cleared up. You and your husband need counseling, together if possible, but if not, go without him. You CAN afford it. Try United Way, the YMCA, your local hospitals, churches, university psychology departments and graduate school counseling departments. Or contact the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (www.aapc.org) at 9504A Lee Highway, Fairfax, VA 22031-2303 and Samaritan Counseling Centers (samaritaninstitute.org) at 2696 S. Colorado Blvd., Suite 380, Denver, CO 80222.
Dear Annie: What do you think about a person who grabs every check at meals, golfing, etc., in order to put it on his credit card? We all have to pay him back our portion of the bill. The purpose of this is to get all the frequent flyer mileage. He then travels everywhere on this built-up mileage. He thinks his friends aren't onto him. I think it's greedy. What do you say? Disgusted in California
Dear Disgusted: Some people don't mind giving cash and letting others reap the credit card benefit. If it bothers you, next time say, "George, it's our turn to get the mileage. You can have the next go-round." Or, of course, you can ask for separate checks.
Dear Annie: The letter from "Heartsick Parents," whose 19-year-old daughter declared she was a lesbian, took me back several years to a time when I could have written their letter for them.
My 19-year-old daughter waited until she was in college (smart move) to say, "Mom, I'm gay." I'd always considered myself a broadminded person, but I found out that I was broadminded as long as it was somebody else's daughter. I reacted horribly. I said hurtful things and snapped at her over nothing. One of the worst things I did was tell her to never bring "those people" (her girlfriends) to our home.
After a couple of months of the worst sadness I'd ever felt (seems so silly when I think of it now), I realized I would have to change or I was going to lose my daughter. I contacted a psychologist who told me about PFLAG. When I called for information, a man answered the phone. I gave him my name and poured out my whole blubbering, tearful story. After I finished, he said, "Lady, this is the Veterans Administration!" But I'd taken the first step toward recovery. I'd told someone and the world didn't come to an end.
The members of PFLAG took me under their wings and worked their magic, and now my daughter and I are closer than ever. Bonnie
Dear Bonnie: We laughed at the VA story, but we know that call must have been hard for you. Congratulations on doing it right.
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