AnnLanders.com, Advice by Ann Landers - []
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Section: children, sexuality, money, relationships
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I am a 26-year-old woman with a problem. When I was in high school, I cheated on my steady boyfriend with an older man. I discovered I was pregnant and was sure the older man was the father of the baby. Last December, after eight years of paying child support, the man requested a DNA test to determine paternity. I was stunned when it turned out that my daughter isn't his after all. Here's the real problem. When I found out I was pregnant, my boyfriend asked if the baby was his, and I assured him it was not. That boyfriend is now happily married and has children. I have been married to a wonderful man for almost six years, and he wants to adopt my daughter. Should I try to contact my old boyfriend and disrupt his life by telling him he has a daughter? Part of me feels he is entitled to know, but another part worries that I would only mess up more lives. Please tell me what to do. -- Kitty in K.C.

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Section: work, manners
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I am sure you get many letters complaining about rude, crude and abusive sales clerks. I would like to say a word in their defense. My job is to evaluate clerks. I have a long list of people I observe, interact with and rate according to 30 factors. They have no idea who I am. I've been doing this work for five years and have visited more than 400 "installations," from small convenience stores to large department stores. I have demanded services to which I was not entitled and asked for "extras" the stores were under no obligation to provide. I have been deliberately antagonistic and sometimes downright nasty. I once tried to return an item that had been purchased at another store. The clerk took it and gave me a full credit. I have yet to find a sales clerk who was crude, rude or unpleasant. When you get letters complaining about sales clerks, I would bet they are from people who have tried to return merchandise that has obviously been used or for which they have no receipt, or the customer insisted the clerk take a credit card that had expired or been maxed out. Please don't print my name or city, Ann. It is essential that my identity not be revealed. Sign me -- Mystery Shopper in the USA

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Section: relationships
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
Emil and I have been married forty-five years. He is seventy-two and I am sixty-five. Emil has a lot of pep for a man his age, and everyone remarks on it. He is a good dancer and keeps up with all the latest steps. At parties he is a regular cutup, plays the harmonica, and does the soft- shoe. He likes to love me up in front of company, which everyone thinks is very sweet. But Emil doesn't stop there. When we are alone he still acts like a young colt, even though I've told him such foolishness is not proper for people our age. We have fourteen grandchildren, Ann. Don't you think it's time Grampa stopped acting like a movie Romeo? When I told him I wanted to write for your ideas, he said, "Go ahead and write. Ann Landers may give you the surprise of your life." I think he is wrong and that you will side with me. How about it?--Mrs. D

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Section: relationships
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
Three years ago I wrote to you about my husband and another woman. When I learned of the affair, I was crushed. He swore the affair meant nothing and said if I forgave him he would spend the rest of his life making it up to me. Your advice was, "Forgive and forget. Trust him. He won't fail you." Well, I took your advice, and three months ago it happened again--this time in my own home with my dearest friend. I saw it coming but decided if he was one of those men who had to cheat I'd rather he cheat with someone I know and like. Here is the problem: My husband has been so ashamed since I caught them that he can't hold up his head in this woman's presence. He doesn't want her in our house ever again. Frankly, I like this woman very much. She is wonderful company and I hate to give up her friendship.--M.L Wrong

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Section: relationships
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
Is it adultery if a married man goes out once a week with a woman who is also married and whose husband works nights? My husband swears no sex is involved. According to him, adultery means sex between a married person and a single person. What is your verdict?--Little Egypt

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Section: relationships
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
This letter is no gag. I look like Paul Newman, and it is ruining my life. I'm thirty years old, happily married, and the father of three children. I'm a steady church¬goer. The girl who runs the elevator in this building takes me down to the basement, pushes the stop button, and tries to get friendly. The baby-sitter keeps asking me to kiss her good night when I drive her home because I am so "mature" and she is sick of high-school boys. When I stop at a lunch counter, women come over and ask for my autograph. I tell them they are mistaken, but they sit down and want to get acquainted. Yesterday my wife saw me having a cup of coffee with a beautiful young girl from the office who has been making a pest of herself lately. I may be in a little trouble at home. Please give me some help.--Case of Mistaken Identity

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Section: relationships
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
A social craze called Mixed Mates has hit town. The invitation we received yesterday read: "You are cordially invited for cocktails and dinner at Bill and Mary X's home on January 25. But you can't come with your husband. He must escort someone else's wife. You will not know the identity of your escort until he arrives. Your husband will soon receive a phone call assigning a date. But it must be kept a deep, dark secret. Of course you will be taken home by the man who brought you. R.S.V.P." I don't want to be a wet firecracker, but the whole idea offends me. My husband says it's novel and should be fun. What would we tell our teen-age children about such a party? Help, please.--Fraidy Cat

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Section:
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
My boyfriend and I have been together for almost two years. Generally, we have a great relationship, except when it comes to his mother. She has started calling my house three or four times a night. (We do not live together.) Most of the time, she calls about nothing -- she heard a funny story about a neighbor, she saw something good on TV and so on. Whenever I visit my parents, she calls me at least twice to find out if "everything is OK." She also calls our friends to find out if my boyfriend and I are getting along. The phone calls aren't the only way she butts into our lives. She has questioned the amount of time we spend together and what my parents think about it. I tried planning a party for him, and she decided to take over the guest list, the menu and everything else. (I ended up canceling the whole thing.) She has made it clear that her son is not to move out of town, no matter how good an offer he gets, because the family must "stay together." Although I am a college graduate and earn $50,000 a year, she thinks I should go back to school and get a doctorate. Ann, I want a future with this man, but I don't want to end up with a mother-in-law who tries to run my life. Please advise. -- Mothered Out in Iowa

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Section: manners, money, relationships, addictions
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
What can I do, short of outright rudeness, to convince an in-law that I do not want her discarded clothes? I don't want her new clothes, either, because her taste is so different from mine. Unfortunately, nothing I say seems to make any difference. My daughters feel the same way about this woman's clothes. We are all short, small-boned, short-waisted ash blondes. Our "benefactress" is a tall, slim brunette who looks terrific in colors none of us can wear. She is also a shopaholic with an eye for what looks best on her and has plenty of money to spend. Even when she buys something new for one of us, it is in her style, not ours, the color looks hideous and the shape is all wrong. We end up wasting a lot of time returning things. I have tried to tell this relative tactfully that I don't want any more of her clothes, but she continues to bring over dresses, coats, blouses and so on. Some people would say this isn't anything I should complain about, but it's beginning to irritate me, and I'd appreciate your help. -- Perplexed in N.C.

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Section: relationships, sexuality, marriage, mental-health
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
My husband and I have been married for 18 years. We have two fine children. Five years ago, my husband had an affair. I was devastated when I learned about it, but I did forgive him. He promised never to see the woman again, and he has kept his word. Here's the problem, Ann. The woman has kept in close touch with my in-laws for the past five years. My mother-in-law is well aware that this is very upsetting to me, but she continues to be friendly to the would-be home wrecker. Even my husband has asked his mother to stop seeing the woman, but she continues to be chummy. We moved from Florida partly to get away from this unpleasant situation, and believe it or not, this woman had the gall to move to this same small town. My nerves are completely shot, and I am beginning to develop health problems because of this. Can you help me? -- Hurt in Alabama

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"Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and repeat to yourself, the most comforting words of all; this, too, shall pass."
-Ann Landers