September 2, 2020

By Marcy Sugar

By Kathy Mitchell

September 2, 2020 4 min read

Dear Annie: After 14 years of marriage, my husband, "Ron," left me for another woman. Here's how it happened: For several years, friends had dinner with us once a week. One day, they brought along "Fran," a recently widowed woman they took under their wing. Ron initially told me he found her vulgar, overweight, unattractive and heavily tattooed. Fran talked nonstop about herself, bragging about her time in a biker club where she enjoyed "getting wasted on drugs and having random sex," a lifestyle she wanted to get back into.

Within weeks, Ron changed his tune about Fran. He decided she was "cool," and he, too, wanted a life that included drugs and random sex. He and Fran began to text and call each other daily, often right in front of me. Ron began to find fault with everything I said or did, and criticized me to others. He even assaulted me physically and then stopped speaking to me for months. Finally, he left and moved in with Fran.

Annie, I did everything for Ron. I helped support us with my full-time job while doing all the cooking and cleaning. Our sex life was great. I kept myself slim and attractive.

Nearly a year after Ron left, he begged me for forgiveness, and I agreed to let him come home provided he got into anger management counseling. I also told him if he ever assaulted me verbally or physically again, I would terminate the marriage. With counseling, Ron became a different man, loving and supportive, and very apologetic. But to this day, he has been unable to tell me what he found so provocative about Fran, a woman he now says he abhors.

Why would a man leave a loving relationship for one that is so destructive? If any of the men in your reading audience have done this, could they tell me why? And were they happy? — Waiting for Answers

Dear Waiting: We don't believe Fran was the attraction. We think it was the promise of her lifestyle that he found fascinating, exciting and freeing. But it turned out to be something much less appealing in practice. We are glad Ron has become a better husband, and if our readers have more to say, we'll be happy to print it.

Dear Annie: What a kind gesture "Heartbroken Brother-in-Law" did by ordering vases of his wife's ashes to be given to his wife's sisters. It's a shame they thought it was in poor taste and now the relationship is damaged.

When my sister died a few years ago, we didn't know this was an option. Her son took the urn back to his home state. He didn't do this selfishly, of course, but all of us who loved her would have been so grateful to have had that remembrance. Please tell "Heartbroken" that he was indeed thoughtful and kind. — Louisville, Ky

Dear Louisville: Several readers suggested the sisters may have had religious reasons to reject the cremains, but we think a brother-in-law of 60 years would know whether this was the case. We hope their relationship has been repaired.

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2015. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at

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