Dear Annie: I recently married a man who has never been married before, although he lived with a woman for 15 years. They never had children, and "Vic" cheated on her for years. He paid for everything, and she had a free ride. He essentially paid her off to leave.
I have three grown children from a previous marriage. After our wedding two months ago, we planned on moving into my house until I can sell it. (Part of my divorce agreement is to split the proceeds of a sale when our youngest child turns 18.) Vic's house is in a rather scary neighborhood. It has a structural defect and won't sell for what he owes the bank. I arranged for reliable renters, but four days before they were to move in, Vic backed out of the deal. He said he needed more time and didn't want to resent me for making him move and then move again once my house sells.
Vic promised to move out of his place on August 1, but didn't, so I've been living there in order to be with him. We both agreed to get a new place when my house sells, and he promised this arrangement would be temporary. I really hate his rundown neighborhood, and worse, his ex lives two blocks away.
When we are together, he treats me very well, but I worry that he'll never move out of his place. Could he have terminal bachelor disease? I am fantasizing about selling my place, taking the check and driving to Vegas to open my own business. I love Vic, but I didn't bargain to live the rest of my life in this lousy neighborhood. — Unhappy in Rhode Island
Dear Unhappy: Set a time limit on staying at Vic's place — perhaps three months after your house is sold. But don't wait until the sale to start looking at other neighborhoods — that way Vic can see the benefits of a nicer home in a better area. Help him pack up his stuff so that his house appears less comforting and more transitional. A new marriage and a new home can be traumatizing for some people, and you have to give Vic time to adjust.
Dear Annie: I am the woman who wrote the letter signed "Fluffy's Competition," about my husband's fondness for his cat. You printed several responses from readers, one of whom said the cat was there first and another who thought it was perfectly OK for my husband to drop me at the hospital for a seven-hour surgery while he spent the day with Fluffy at the vet.
I didn't mention that the day I had my surgery, there were complications and I ended up in intensive care. My daughter couldn't reach my husband because he wouldn't return her phone calls. He didn't show up at the hospital for two days.
Aside from my severe allergies (for which I take medication), Fluffy currently has body mites, and my husband refuses to get her treated because vets are "too expensive." I agree with you that his priorities are screwed up. — Still Fluffy's Competition
Dear Still: Whatever reservations we had about your husband are gone now that we know he didn't turn up at the hospital until two days after your surgery. Is there a reason you cannot pay for Fluffy's mite treatment yourself? It seems worth it. But only you can decide whether you love your husband enough to play second fiddle.
Dear Annie: This is for "Cornered in New York," whose boss makes them eat lunch together.
The New York State Department of Labor has clear guidelines about work hours, including breaks for meals. If the employees must participate in a joint lunch as a team-building exercise, then they are not being given the required break for lunch that the law requires. She should contact the state Department of Labor (anonymously) and request that they investigate. — A.
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2014. 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.
Photo credit: susannp4 at Pixabay