Fluent in International Affairs

By Marcy Sugar

By Kathy Mitchell

August 31, 2016 4 min read

Dear Annie: I have been married to "Cole" for 18 months. Soon after the wedding, I became pregnant. Then Cole left the country on business for nearly five months. A few weeks before he came home, Cole confessed that he had slept with other women on this trip, and that he had a relationship with one of them. I tried to talk calmly about it, but he always changed the subject.

Recently, I found a camera and had the pictures developed. To my surprise, the photos were of Cole and one of these women. I couldn't believe my eyes. Now I feel like getting a divorce and making sure he never sees our daughter again.

Cole doesn't know I have these pictures, and I don't know what I should do. Annie, can you help me? I'm afraid it's too late for counseling. — In Despair

Dear Despair: It's never too late for counseling. Has Cole made any effort to stop seeing these women and recommit to your marriage? Show him the pictures and insist that he go with you for counseling to see if anything can be salvaged. If he refuses, go alone and work through your anger so you can make a responsible decision.

Whatever the outcome, please do not punish your daughter by removing her father from her life. Even a lousy husband can be a devoted daddy.

Dear Annie: I am a 15-year-old girl, and for a while now, I've been really upset about how much I weigh. People tell me I am thin, but I don't feel that way.

I wanted to lose a few pounds, but it's spun out of control. Last year, I joined the track team, but even after a long practice, I'd come home and exercise in my bedroom, and feel like I was going mad if I didn't. I've also been cutting back a lot on how much I eat. I feel miserable all the time. Please help me, Annie. I'm scared. — Ready To Cry

Dear Ready To Cry: You have an unhealthy body image and probably an eating disorder. Exercise boosts endorphins and makes you feel good. But compulsive overexercising can lead to physical problems and often masks depression.

Please talk to your parents, your school counselor, your track coach or your family doctor about this. You also can check the kidshealth.org/teen website and type in "compulsive exercise" in the search box for more information.

Dear Annie: What is the proper thing to do if you accidentally break something that is not yours?

I was recently at a social gathering with people I hardly know. The place was overcrowded, and I was pushed into a table filled with trinkets. A glass statue broke. The hosts were outraged and demanded I pay for it. I offered to replace it, but they said it was bought in Paris. Then they sprung the $1,500 price tag on me.

I don't have that kind of money, and even if I did, I wouldn't pay that much. Now these people are hounding my friends about when they're getting their $1,500. I say, tough luck. They shouldn't have left such a valuable thing out if they couldn't bear to part with it.

I would never ask a guest to pay for accidentally breaking something in my home. What do you think? — Not Paying for My Mistakes in California

Dear Not Paying: Granted, these hosts are not exactly gracious about it, but when you break something, you should offer to pay for it. In this instance, however, the hosts also had a responsibility to keep their valuable objects out of harm's way.

Call the hosts, apologize again and explain that, of course, you would never have expected such a costly item to be sitting casually on a table where guests could knock into it. Their homeowners insurance, or yours, may cover the loss. If not, offer to pay half the cost, in installments.

This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2005. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.

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