Dear Annie: I am having an argument with my husband and need an impartial opinion.
My daughter, 19, has been dating "Thad," 21, for four years. Thad recently admitted that he cheated on her, and now she is breaking up with him. She discussed it with me and then sent him a text message that it was over. He texted her multiple times, but she didn't respond. He wants to get back together and keeps calling her, sometimes keeping her up at night arguing about it.
Thad walked over to our house, and when my daughter said she didn't want to see him, my husband sent him away. My husband then immediately blocked Thad's phone numbers from all of our cellphones, and the next day, he blocked the boy's mother's phone number, as well. He told my younger children to call the police if Thad comes over.
I told my husband his reaction was extreme, and now he's furious with me. He thinks I'm taking Thad's side and not protecting our daughter. I think this is her first boyfriend, and she needs to know how to break up with someone — how to express her feelings, say it's over, hang up a phone and not answer annoying texts or emails. Thad is not a violent kid. He's just hoping my daughter will reconsider. Now my younger children are afraid they will have to call the cops if he comes over.
I don't think my daughter is learning anything when Daddy takes over. He says I don't live in the real world. Do you think my husband's actions are extreme? — Want My Daughter To Be a Strong Woman
Dear Want: Yes. We understand his desire to protect his daughter, but he should not be swooping in to handle the unpleasant parts of her love life. It is her responsibility to tell Thad that it's over, in person, and with conviction. The choice to block his calls belongs to her. Of course, there is the very rare ex-boyfriend who becomes a stalker and potentially dangerous. If your daughter believes the situation could get violent, she should not see Thad without others present. Daddy should back off and let her grow up. If she needs his help, she will ask for it.
Dear Annie: My husband and I are one of four couples in our early 70s who have been friends forever. Recently, one of the men approached the other three women in the group for fun and sex. The three of us immediately told our husbands, who had words with the man. Everyone knows but the unsuspecting wife.
The problem now is that six of us can't stand to be near the man and feel so guilty about keeping this secret from his wife. She will certainly feel betrayed by us when she finds out. What is our alternative? — Naive in the Midwest
Dear Naive: There is another possibility — this man may have had a small stroke or may be showing early signs of dementia. In some instances, these things interfere with keeping one's inhibitions intact. Tell his wife that her husband's behavior has seemed "off" to you, and urge her to get him to the doctor.
Dear Annie: I agree with your response to "Detroit, Mich.," who suffers from depression. I am an 18-year-old girl and have severe depression and have attempted suicide multiple times. I, too, was scared to talk to school counselors, friends and family because I believed they would think I was crazy.
It wasn't until recently that I told my parents how I've been feeling. It was hard to do, but worth it. I now have the support of my parents and friends. I receive counseling and am on an antidepressant. You should be able to rely on the people you love the most. — Longview, Wash.
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2011. 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.