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Serial Cheater in Denial

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Dear Annie: I have been married to my husband for six years. A few months after the wedding, I found out he was cheating on me. I saw his cellphone while he was sleeping and noticed the messages and phone calls. He had been meeting girls from dating sites, talking to them and exchanging photographs. He also wouldn't come home till 3 or 4 a.m.

I called one of the girls and told her I am his wife and she should stop talking to him. That's when she told me she was pregnant with his child. I confronted my husband, who said the woman was lying. He also apologized and promised to stop cheating.

Several weeks later, he was again out until after midnight. He texted that he was coming home, but I tripped and hurt my ankle. I called several times and left messages, but it took an hour until he texted that he was on his way.

We have tried to work things out, but I feel that he doesn't want me anymore, or that he only wants me for a place to live and money in the bank. When he touches me, it doesn't feel genuine.

I recently found out that he has been on dating sites again, possibly meeting up with these women when he claims to be out fishing. When I asked him about it, he said, "I haven't done anything. I just ask for photographs to see how far they will go."

Do you think he really wants me? Should I keep trying to work it out with him? I am scared that he is just going to keep hurting me. — Alabama

Dear Alabama: We can guarantee he will keep hurting you, because he doesn't see that he's doing anything wrong and has no interest in changing his behavior, no matter how much it upsets you. Please get some counseling on your own to decide what you are willing to tolerate and to determine your next step.

Dear Annie I was disappointed in your response to "To Tip or Not To Tip," saying that wedding DJs and photographers who own their own businesses don't expect to be tipped. That is not true.

I am married to a man who has been a DJ for 40 years. He has many extra expenses. A week before the wedding, they make sure all the music is in order, and they do a lot of recording and cover the expenses associated with that. They arrive at least an hour before the wedding to get everything set up and run the whole wedding reception to keep things on time. The guests probably won't remember your decorations or the food, but if they don't like the DJ, they will go home.

When you tip your DJ, it tells him he did a good job and you are pleased with his work. It's no different from tipping a beautician who owns her own shop. She still expects a tip. — Omaha DJ's Wife

Dear Omaha: We understand that you want to support your husband, but those who own their businesses (including beauticians) should not expect tips when performing services. The fact that some people choose to tip anyway is fine and undoubtedly appreciated, but it is not required.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Frustrated in North Carolina," whose mother-in-law doesn't understand boundaries.

When my brother married decades ago, they lived not far from our parents. Every now and then, our parents would stop by unannounced and just walk in. One day they found the young couple was not, shall we say, dressed for company. It was the last time our parents ever did that. — Always Some Humor Somewhere

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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Comments

19 Comments | Post Comment
LW1: What would it take for you to leave this dirtbag?

Seriously, women (and men) like you who tolerate a serial cheater for years need psychological help. Adultery is grounds for divorce. Leave this man and get help to see why you think so little of yourself that you would tolerate this type of abuse (and yes, it's abuse).

LW2: The Annies were wrong before and are wrong again today. This LW is correct.

The problem lies in the word "expect". The Annies, by saying that DJs don't "expect" to be tipped are doing ALL people who perform services a grave disservice. While it may not be mandatory (and it is ALSO not mandatory to tip waiters etc. either, it's a matter of discretion), it is not wrong and would certainly be appreciated. To say it's not "expected" sends the wrong message.

The DJ should be tipped at the end of the evening by whomever is paying for the wedding and if people make special requests, they should tip at the time the request is made/filled.

Comment: #1
Posted by: nanchan
Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:12 PM
LW 1 - Please get your financial papers together and see a divorce lawyer. If you have any joint bank accounts, open up your own and stop putting Your money into the joint accounts. Transfer 50% of any cash in these accounts into your account. Please see your doctor right away and get tested for STD's. Your husband is not sorry he constantly cheats on you. He is only sorry he gets caught. Married people do not troll dating sites to see if someone will send them a picture. Kick this serial cheater to the curb. Get him out of your house. Change the locks. He will NEVER change. He will always cheat on you. He will beg, promise to change, try to woo you back. Do not fall for his lies. You deserve better. Find a therapist to help you figure out why you would put up this this nonsense for six years. He is using you. Only you can make it stop.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Lori C
Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:12 PM
LW 1 - Please get your financial papers together and see a divorce lawyer. If you have any joint bank accounts, open up your own and stop putting Your money into the joint accounts. Transfer 50% of any cash in these accounts into your account. Please see your doctor right away and get tested for STD's. Your husband is not sorry he constantly cheats on you. He is only sorry he gets caught. Married people do not troll dating sites to see if someone will send them a picture. Kick this serial cheater to the curb. Get him out of your house. Change the locks. He will NEVER change. He will always cheat on you. He will beg, promise to change, try to woo you back. Do not fall for his lies. You deserve better. Find a therapist to help you figure out why you would put up this this nonsense for six years. He is using you. Only you can make it stop.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Lori C
Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:14 PM
LW 2 - If your husband is not charging enough to cover all of his business expenses and time spent preparing for the job, he needs to review and change his pricing policy. Business owners should not expect to be tipped by the people who hire them to provide goods and services. If the people who hired your husband want to give extra at the end of the evening, that is fine. I've seen DJ's put out tip jars at parties in case anyone wants to tip when they request a song. I don't know if that is acceptable at a wedding reception. I talked to many owners of hair salons. Every one of them has told me they do not expect tips. If a client wants to tip, that is fine. But it is not expected. And yes, I do tip the salon owners anyway.
Comment: #4
Posted by: Lori C
Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:32 PM
LW 2 - If your husband is not charging enough to cover all of his business expenses and time spent preparing for the job, he needs to review and change his pricing policy. Business owners should not expect to be tipped by the people who hire them to provide goods and services. If the people who hired your husband want to give extra at the end of the evening, that is fine. I've seen DJ's put out tip jars at parties in case anyone wants to tip when they request a song. I don't know if that is acceptable at a wedding reception. I talked to many owners of hair salons. Every one of them has told me they do not expect tips. If a client wants to tip, that is fine. But it is not expected. And yes, I do tip the salon owners anyway.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Lori C
Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:33 PM
LW 2 - If your husband is not charging enough to cover all of his business expenses and time spent preparing for the job, he needs to review and change his pricing policy. Business owners should not expect to be tipped by the people who hire them to provide goods and services. If the people who hired your husband want to give extra at the end of the evening, that is fine. I've seen DJ's put out tip jars at parties in case anyone wants to tip when they request a song. I don't know if that is acceptable at a wedding reception. I talked to many owners of hair salons. Every one of them has told me they do not expect tips. If a client wants to tip, that is fine. But it is not expected. And yes, I do tip the salon owners anyway.
Comment: #6
Posted by: Lori C
Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:34 PM
Sorry for the double posts !! I scroll down to the bottom of the page. I log in. I type my comment. I enter the numbers. I click on Post Message. Screen goes back up to the top of the page. I scroll down. I am not logged in. I don't see my comment. So I post it again. I have tried posting and leaving the site while I wait a few minutes for my comment to be posted. I will come back a while later and no comment. One would think Creators.com would want to encourage people to come to their site, not drive then away from their site.
Comment: #7
Posted by: Lori C
Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:42 PM
LW 3 - I am sure your sister in law was mortified ! Great story !
Comment: #8
Posted by: Lori C
Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:45 PM
Let's band together ! Everyone who don't like how this comment section works email the Webmaster. Be specific.

webmaster@creators.com
Comment: #9
Posted by: Lori C
Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:58 PM
Let's band together ! Everyone who don't like how this comment section works email the Webmaster. Be specific.

webmaster@creators.com
Comment: #10
Posted by: Lori C
Wed Oct 22, 2014 10:59 PM
LW2 - When I hire someone to do a service for me, I expect that they know enough about business to charge a price that covers their time and expenses. If they don't, they won't be in business very long. I don't tip my plumber, another self employed person whom I pay for services. I don't tip the handyman or the guy who fixes my car Both those people are self employed, too. What makes a self employed disk jockey special?
Comment: #11
Posted by: kai archie
Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:01 PM
LW2: Perhaps the DJ husband is undercharging as a strategy for competition and then hoping tips will make up the difference.
Comment: #12
Posted by: LouisaFinnell
Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:13 PM
Re: kai archie

I think the thing that makes a DJ different than a plumber is that a DJ will provide special requests. If you asked a plumber to do additional services, he would charge you MORE than what he quoted you. The same should apply to a DJ.

FWIW, I have been known to "tip" my yard guy when he does a great job, I've "tipped" my housekeeper for special services, and if a plumber did a great job, I'd tip them too.

While I agree that a competent business person providing ANY service should know what to charge, where I take issue with the Annies response is that it seems to discourage paying someone over and above what they are paid to do. For example, given what Lori says, why tip a waitress? After all, they should know what they are worth per hour and shouldn't EXPECT tips. And many people in the wait service industry (including my daughter) DON'T expect tips. You can't depend on them, it's an unknown. The money they make in tips is gravy: they can guestimate what it will be, but it's different every day.

re: tip jars. Years ago, I was an event manager and hired many DJs for corporate events. If a DJ or bartender DIDN'T have a tip jar, I found one. My usual bartender, who is an independent contractor and holds his own insurance (important) would never bring a tip jar. I paid him well, but I always put out a tip jar for him. Since people are used to tipping bartenders, he used to clear in tips the same amount that I would pay him.
Comment: #13
Posted by: nanchan
Wed Oct 22, 2014 11:57 PM
* * * * PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT * * * *

LW2 refers to the second letter on 24 September 2014.

LW3 refers to the first letter on 9 September 2014.
Comment: #14
Posted by: Miss Pasko
Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:32 AM
LW2: The reason business owners (including sole proprietors) generally don't get tips is that because they run the business, they're in a position to decide how much the client pays and how much income they take out of the business. Employees don't have that discretion, so it's customary to tip them. It's also okay to tip a business owner if he or she provides a personal service. But by definition, a tip is never required. (Restaurants that add on a tip for large parties are overstepping, and I avoid them on principle.)
Comment: #15
Posted by: Baldrz
Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:17 AM
Re: nanchan - a waitress doesn't own the restaurant, therefore is not a business owner. A waitress is paid well under the minimum wage and the restaurant industry somehow gets away with expecting the customer to tip the waitstaff for good service in order to make up the difference in pay. According to payscale.com the average hourly wage for waitstaff is $4.39 per hour. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Back in the day, I worked at a popular chain restaurant. The waitstaff had to tip out the bar backs and the expediters, lowering their take home pay even further. I agree that nanchan's daughter cannot depend on or expect to be be tipped the standard 15% to 20% of the total bill because again, it all depends on how cheap the customer is. She can bust her back side for a table and get stiffed on the tip.
Comment: #16
Posted by: Lori C
Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:17 AM
Re: nanchan - a waitress doesn't own the restaurant, therefore is not a business owner. A waitress is paid well under the minimum wage and the restaurant industry somehow gets away with expecting the customer to tip the waitstaff for good service in order to make up the difference in pay. According to payscale the average hourly wage for waitstaff is $4.39 per hour. The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. Back in the day, I worked at a popular chain restaurant. The waitstaff had to tip out the bar backs and the expediters, lowering their take home pay even further. I agree that nanchan's daughter cannot depend on or expect to be be tipped the standard 15% to 20% of the total bill because again, it all depends on how cheap the customer is. She can bust her back side for a table and get stiffed on the tip.
Comment: #17
Posted by: Lori C
Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:19 AM
You didn't get my bigger point, Lori.

The point is that NO ONE can expect a tip. Doesn't matter if it's a business owner or waitstaff.

But a tip is ALWAYS appreciated. The Annies hurt a lot of people by putting that letter in today.... now people will think that they SHOULDN'T tip people like the DJ or the singer or whoever. That's the point.
Comment: #18
Posted by: nanchan
Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:28 AM
LW1 - "Do you think he really wants me?" - No.

"Should I keep trying to work it out with him?" - No.

"I am scared that he is just going to keep hurting me." - You should be because he is.

He's cheating on you left and right and another woman may be pregnant by him. He is never home with you. You suspect he's with you for a roof and money. If you suspect it, then it's likely true.

STOP having sex with him right now. Get tested for STDs. If you have a joint banking account, open your own and start getting money in it. Get to a lawyer NOW and find out what you have to do to get rid of him. Good luck to you.
Comment: #19
Posted by: Michelle
Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:39 AM
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