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

Dear Ann Landers,
My ex-husband and I divorced 18 years ago. He told me he no longer loved me and that family life was not for him. He agreed to counseling, but of course, it was a waste of time. The counselor later told me it was obvious that I wanted counseling to save the marriage, but my ex agreed to it only to appease me and intended on getting a divorce once the charade was over. We had been married 14 years and had two children, ages 7 and 5. It was not easy for me. My ex remarried six months after the divorce was final. I married again 10 years later. My 23-year-old daughter recently asked her father why we were divorced. He replied, "Because your mother was having an affair." I am furious with him for telling such a lie. Fortunately, my daughter did not believe him, but it's possible he has repeated that same lie to everyone he knows. I get angry every time I think about it, but don't know if I should confront him. Please, Ann, tell me what to do. -- Innocent in Stamford, Conn.

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Section: work, mental-health, relationships, marriage
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
My husband and I have been married for 20 years. Our children are grown and out of the house. For the last 32 years, I have worked full time without a break. Part of my salary has gone to support my husband's ex-wife and his children. I have never complained. Here's my dilemma. My job is extremely demanding and stressful. We also own two businesses, which my husband runs. I need a life. I want to garden, cook, take some classes, you name it. My husband and I agreed that when I reach age 50 (I am now 48), I would work part time so I could keep contributing to our retirement fund. Ann, we have plenty of money put away for retirement. We have no debts, own our home and have a vacation home as well. I told my husband I want to quit NOW. I am stressed out and exhausted. I spend 10-hour days cooped up in an airless office with tinted windows. He wants me to hang in there because it's "only two more years." I can't bear the thought of it. He says I am being selfish. The bottom line is I am burned out and depressed. Every day, I feel myself sinking deeper and deeper into despair. If I quit my job, it might be the end of my marriage, but if I don't quit, it will be the end of me. Do you see a way out? -- Dying Inside in the Midwest

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Section: relationships, behavior, marriage, mental-health
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
Two weeks ago, when I came home from the supermarket, I found a note from my husband saying there was too much pressure in his life and he needed to get away. I immediately checked our bedroom and found that all his clothes were gone. A few days later, I learned he already had another apartment and a new phone number, which proved he had been planning his escape for quite some time. I had an awful feeling of betrayal when I realized that the person I had been sleeping next to for so many years would plan to sneak off and leave me without saying a word. The note he left said he would contact me in a few days. It has been nearly a week, and I haven't heard from him. My friends tell me I should phone him and find out exactly what he has in mind, but I don't want to do that. After all, he is the one who left, and I think he should make the first move. Please give me some advice. -- Confused in the Midwest

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Section: mental-health, relationships
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I suspect my wife of six years is having an affair. She means a great deal to me, and I don't want a divorce. My suspicions are beginning to wreck my personal and professional life, and I don't know what to do. I recently heard of a TV show that investigates and catches cheating spouses on film. I am seriously considering contacting the producers. Do you think my wife and I would be able to reconcile if I had her investigated and caught her on this show? -- Just Asking in the Big D

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Section: manners, children, relationships
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I have a wife and two sons, ages 15 and 12. I love them dearly, but they are so scatterbrained, they drive me nuts. They constantly are losing keys, glasses, hairbrushes and wallets. They put empty peanut butter jars back in the cabinet and containers in the fridge without the tops screwed on. I once found my wife's purse in the freezer. I am one of those people who likes everything in its place. I have started hiding items from my family so I can find them when needed. I used to lend my wife and kids the scissors or Scotch tape, but I would never see those things again. Now, I refuse to let my family use any of my belongings. I'm sure I drive them as crazy as they drive me, but the truth is, they are the ones who need to change. I have pleaded with them to recognize how frustrating their forgetfulness is to me, but they simply laugh and ask, "Where's the TV remote?" (We have at least three, none of which they can locate.) Do you have a solution to this problem? -- Left-Brained in South Carolina

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Section: health-and-wellness, aging, children, relationships
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I've read many letters in your column from children who wonder how to get elderly parents to quit driving. I need to tell you about my dad. On his 89th birthday, he was still driving and doing a good job of it. His request for his birthday was that I go with him for a ride and buy him a cup of coffee. We had a wonderful time together. When we arrived home, he handed me the car keys and said, "I've driven more than 70 years and have never had an accident, and now, it's time to quit." It was his birthday, but what a gift he gave to us. You can sign this letter -- Proud To Be Rudy's Daughter, Jamestown, N.Y.

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Section: spirituality
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I am a 28-year-old mother of one lovely child. After a long and costly divorce, now broke but happy, I find myself in love with a wonderful man -- my Prince Charming. We both fantasize about getting married in a beautiful church wedding with ushers, bridesmaids, organ music, etc., but as a divorced Catholic, can this be a reality? If so, what are the steps we must take to make it happen? If not, what are my options? Please help my dream come true. -- Cinderella Hopeful

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Section: manners, relationships
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
Your advice to "A Split Opinion in the Midwest" left a lot to be desired. The woman who wrote wanted to keep her maiden name after marriage. Her husband, however, insisted that she take HIS name. You suggested she compromise by using her maiden name professionally and her husband's name socially. I compromised by hyphenating our names when we married. It's made my husband happy, but I feel a tinge of resentment every time I sign my name. Of course, it is too late to change back to my maiden name, because people will assume we are getting a divorce, so I am stuck with my hyphenated name. There are few things in life as personal as one's name. "Split's" fiance should not ask her to do something he would not be willing to do himself. After all, SHE is the one who has to live with her choice, not him. A fiance should make only those decisions regarding HIS name and give his future wife the same privilege. -- Mrs. Been There-Done That

Tags: marriage

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Section: aging, family, health-and-wellness
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
In a recent case, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that parents alone make the decision whether or not grandparents may see their grandchildren. I am a pastor and counselor in Florida. For years, I have been privy to the horror stories of seniors whose grandchildren are used as bargaining chips in an effort to control wealth and influence relationships. Since nothing is more precious to seniors than their grandchildren, the threat goes like this: "If you don't agree to do this or that, you will never see your grandchildren again." If the grandparents don't cave in, the result is often total abandonment. Florida is filled with happy retirees with good relationships, but there are also hundreds of seniors, who are forgotten and warehoused in nursing homes or trailer parks. Their only connection to family members is the outdated pictures of grandkids whom they never get to know. This is a tragedy. Everybody loses. -- Dr. R.S., Ridge Manor, Fla.

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Section: relationships, general-health
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
My husband is a wonderful man, 56 years old and highly intelligent. He had an ingrown toenail that was red and swollen and looked infected. I suggested he soak it in hot water and try to cut as much of the nail as he could. Well, Ann, I caught him soaking his toe in my good crock pot. I went ballistic. He insisted that a little hot water and soap would clean the pot up just fine and I had no reason to fly off the handle. I threw the contaminated pot in the garbage. The next morning, I discovered he had put the pot back in the cupboard. I took it with me to the office and threw it out there. Was I wrong, Ann, or am I married to a man with the brain of a flea? -- Grossed Out in Stockton, Calif.

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"Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them."
-Ann Landers