Wishing He'd Leave While Tempting Him To Stay

By Marcy Sugar

By Kathy Mitchell

October 30, 2012 4 min read

Dear Annie: I was with my ex-husband for 18 years before I divorced him. We have three children, and he hasn't been the best father or husband. Lately, however, he has been nice and comes around to visit the kids. I appreciate the fact that he is doing this, but he is now saying things to me that make me uncomfortable.

He slept on my couch a couple of nights because he stayed late with the kids when I was out. But now he is coming every day and staying over every night. We often end up sleeping together.

I told him to stop coming around with the expectation that we are getting back together, because we are not. But he refuses to listen, and now he has asked me to marry him again. He won't take "no" for an answer. What should I do? — Think I've Been Too Nice

Dear Think: For starters, stop sleeping with him. By allowing him to spend the night in your bed, you are leading him on, encouraging him to believe there is hope. If you are serious about keeping him as an ex-husband, you must put an end to the couch sleepovers. When you return home, insist that he leave the premises. If you don't have the backbone for that, drop the kids at his place instead of letting him come to yours. Or hire a babysitter. You are creating this problem. You can stop it.

Dear Annie: How do you handle someone who constantly interrupts? She always knows more about the story and makes me feel inadequate. She's loud, abrasive and obnoxious.

We had a good group of friends, and this person ingratiated herself into our clique. Only one of the other women likes her, but it's enough to keep her around. I'd love to put her in her place, but don't want to cause a rift with my friends. — Annoyed

Dear Annoyed: Does she do this with everyone, or only you? If it's just you, it could be that you take a long time to get to the point, or you monopolize conversations more than you realize. However, if she does it to everyone, you can say, "I'm sure you have something to add, but I'd appreciate it if you would let me finish first." Many people who interrupt do not realize they are doing it and need to be reminded, nicely, when they overstep.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Bring Back Wedding Etiquette," who thought it was tacky that the bridal couple requested that guests contribute to their honeymoon.

My son and his fiance also set up a website for guests to contribute to certain categories of their honeymoon expenses. They did this because they reside in a foreign country, but the wedding ceremony is in the U.S. They cannot carry gifts back with them, nor do they have a place here to store them. They are making the suggestion that if people want to give them a wedding gift, they can donate online.

It may seem tacky to some, but they came up with the fund in order to be helpful. It is in no way meant to coerce anyone into paying for their honeymoon. People should consider the circumstances of the couple involved before they criticize. — Proud Mom of a Considerate Couple

Dear Proud: Couples who live overseas, particularly those stationed in the military, are given dispensation to request monetary gifts because otherwise it becomes complicated, if not downright impossible, to give presents. However, honeymoon websites are deliberately specific categories, and when those are the only options available, it seems like pressure even if that is not the intent.

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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