Dear Annie: I am 44 years old and have been married for 12 years. This is my first marriage and her third.
My wife had a yearlong affair with a co-worker. We tried counseling, but her inability to end the affair forced me to move out, although we have not divorced. I also found out that her two previous marriages ended because of her infidelity.
Four months ago, my wife ended the affair, and we returned to counseling. However, during our separation, I reconnected with an old female friend. There is no romance or sex involved. I told my wife about the friendship, but she feels betrayed and doesn't think she can forgive my "emotional affair."
I am frustrated that my wife is being so self-righteous about something that never happened, when she had an actual affair — emotional and physical. Our counselor believes she may be going through menopause and has asked me to be patient. But I've already been dealing with this for 18 months.
I want to save my marriage, but it's as if the real reason for our separation is being pushed under the rug so we can concentrate on my nonexistent "emotional affair." I'm not blaming the counselor. My wife cannot focus on anything but my wrongdoing.
How do I tactfully remind her that she's the one who betrayed our marriage and that I stopped all contact with my friend but she continues to work with hers? — Not Cheating at Texas Hold 'Em
Dear Texas: We think your wife is keeping the focus on you in order to justify her own cheating. Please ask your counselor to work on that. If your wife refuses to take responsibility for her part in your marital troubles, there isn't much hope for a successful future with her.
Dear Annie: This is for "Baffled Nurse in Indiana," who was upset to see parents steal the office tongue depressors and exam gloves as toys for their children. I agree with her.
Some folks' sense of entitlement is off the charts. No one has the right to help himself to supplies in a doctor's office, especially for children, who are notorious for not washing their hands. You can imagine the germs spread by their grubby little paws. Not to mention, this only adds to the through-the-roof medical charges. Ah, I feel better now. — Sue in Omaha
Dear Sue: Thanks for weighing in. A few readers are on your side, but you are in the minority. Read on:
From New York: I'm a mom who has, more times than I care to recall, been shut up in a minuscule exam room with two irritable kiddos for longer than even Mr. Rogers could be expected to entertain them. I think the cost of an exam glove balloon and a few tongue depressor puppets is a small price to pay for a doctor's lack of consideration for a patient's time and sanity.
Morris, Ill.: I can tell "Baffled Nurse" when it became OK for parents to help themselves to doctor supplies for the purpose of entertaining. It happened a few years after it became OK to force patients to wait an hour in the waiting room and then another 30 minutes in the exam room. If doctors want to save money on supplies, they should stop being so greedy and lighten their patient load.
Chicago: Instead of complaining about her clients, perhaps "Baffled Nurse" should talk to her boss about ways to eliminate the waiting time. Medical services professionals need to understand that their patients' time is as valuable as their own and operate accordingly.
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2012. 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.