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Section: relationships
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I am 34 years old and have three children under the age of 10. Two years ago, my husband left us and started living with his mother. He also has a girlfriend but has not made any effort to file for divorce. Here's my question: How long should I go on trying to salvage my marriage? It's hard when only one of us is working at it. Should I just get on with my life without him, or keep praying he will have a change of heart and do the right thing? At what point do I just give up? -- Hurting in Mantua, N.J.

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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,
I think you've been out in the sun too long. "Nameless, Faceless and Placeless" discovered that her fiance, Jeremy, was online, pretending to be unattached, and looking to meet women. She planned to trap him by pretending she was one of those mystery females. Now, he wants to meet her. She asked for your advice, because she said she loves the guy and doesn't want to lose him. You told her to stop playing games. Annie, this guy is a LOSER, and you should have told her to dump him. She has been living with him for more than a year, and they are engaged to be married. He is no immature child. He is in his 40s, and so is she. Why is this jerk looking in the online personals to meet other women? Furthermore, she must have suspected he was not entirely faithful, which is why she resorted to duplicity to find out exactly what he was up to. You should have told her to get rid of the creep. The wedding ring on his finger will not keep him from straying. Better she should know NOW what kind of guy she is involved with. Please, Ann, reconsider your advice. -- No Mystery in Centereach, N.Y.

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Section: relationships
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
My "significant other" (I'll call her Jasmine), after shacking up for two days with a former lover, suggested that we continue to be "companions." We were once married, but we divorced after a few years and have been going steady for nearly 20 years. We do not live together, but those who know us consider us a couple. We had agreed if there were a problem, we would discuss it and try to work out a solution. The first inkling I had of the affair was when Jasmine called me from the airport to say she was headed out to meet her former lover, who was only in this country for a short time. I did not ask her any questions about her plans, and she didn't volunteer any details. When she returned, she said there was no reason we couldn't continue our relationship as we had in the past, and that she intended to see the other guy three or four times a year. I told Jasmine she had no moral standards and that I wanted nothing more to do with her. She claims she cannot understand my pain and disappointment and sees no reason for me to be upset. Is this woman a sociopath, or am I missing something? -- Perplexed in Portland

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Section: relationships, manners
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I belong to an informal dinner club that meets once a month for dinner in one of our homes. One of the women has appointed herself "social director" and is making our lives miserable. "Irene" phones everyone to remind them of the upcoming dinner plans, which is fine. The problem is that she always tells the hostess what to serve. She does not have food allergies or any medical problems; she just likes certain things. Irene eats enough for two people, so making an extra dish for her is a major annoyance. The rest of us in the group do not want to disband, and Irene would be terribly hurt if we excluded her. Any suggestions? -- Too Much Cooking in Alabama

Tags: food

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Section: relationships
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
So now I'm a prostitute-according to you. In a recent column you said, "When sex is used by a wife as payment for favors and is withheld as punishment, it places the marriage at the level of prostitution." What else can a woman do when sex is her only effective weapon? I've been married to this character for eighteen years, and it's the only approach that works. My husband's income exceeds $40,000 a year. Every woman I know gets an allowance but me. My husband doesn't believe a wife needs an allowance. He says, "What for? You're home all day." The only way I can get any money out of him is to nail him when he's in an amorous mood. Now, do you blame me?--The Professional Amateur

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Section: children, mental-health, manners
 
 

Dear Ann Landers,
I live in a nice suburb and have two well-adjusted children, a 6-year-old boy and a 2-year-old girl. The problem is the 12-year-old boy who lives three doors away. He really is strange. I rarely see him with children his own age. He often plays with kids who are much younger than he is, including my own. Other neighbors have mentioned this boy's peculiar and unpredictable nature. They do not trust him. He once bit a child and knocked another boy off his bicycle. Recently, I had a basketball hoop installed in our driveway. As soon as the hoop went up, the boy started to play there. After a week of showing up in our driveway, I told him he had to ring our bell and ask permission. After repeated attempts to get permission, with little success, he finally got the message. He then began peering in our windows like a Peeping Tom to see whether anyone was home so he could ring our bell. This spooked my wife. Frankly, I don't want this boy around my house or my children. His father is a friendly guy but travels three weeks out of the month. His mother is cold and distant. Meanwhile, the boy continues to hang around our property. Should I discuss my concern with the boy's father or simply continue to discourage his presence around our house? Please help. -- Worried Parent in Illinois

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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