Dear Annie: My husband and I have been married for 15 years. During our first year of marriage, he cheated on me with an old girlfriend. I was pregnant at the time. He promised never to do it again.
Several months ago, I noticed that my husband seemed distant, irritable and less interested in sex. We have three children, and I work two jobs and very long hours. So, I will admit that I haven't been the most attentive wife. Several months ago, he said he needed more of a social life, so he would go out at night and not return until the wee hours. When I questioned his whereabouts, he said he was with the guys at a sports bar.
One night when he was out late, I looked at his Internet browsing history and found searches for strip clubs, as well as a notebook with comments on how to seduce specific strippers. I also discovered he'd been calling and texting the strippers.
When I confronted him with this information, he denied that he had done anything wrong. Then I told him that I had hired a private investigator, and this stopped him in his tracks. He swore that nothing sexual had taken place, and that he was only talking to the strippers to get to know them. I asked him if he wanted a separation or an open marriage, but he declined, saying he's been faithful but has an interest in making connections with females on a platonic level.
He has since stopped going to the strip clubs, but I still find it hard to trust him since he lied so vehemently before. I feel stupid. I blew my chances of finding out anything more. He has covered his tracks and trashed the notebook. What should I do? — Wary Wife
Dear Wary: The only excuse for making connections with strippers on a platonic level would be if he's writing a book or a screenplay.
Your husband may not have done anything yet, but it sounds like he was working up to it. The best thing would be to get into counseling so your husband understands how he has destroyed your trust and what he needs to do to regain it. You also need to do some work, so your husband doesn't feel you are neglecting him. As always, if he won't go with you, go without him.
Dear Annie: You printed a letter from "K," who was frustrated about the toll worker who didn't understand how to make change.
When I worked in a fast-food place, the other employees (usually younger) would ask me to help them count out change for their customers. I am 51 years old and learned all of this is school, including how to balance a checkbook. They really need a basic math class to teach these things. — A.
Dear A.: The problem is, schools are already cutting back on what they offer in order to cover the required material, the list of which gets longer every year. How to balance a checkbook and make change are things that parents and grandparents can teach the kids, and we highly recommend they do. These are useful skills, and patient, loving instruction provides a bonding experience.
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. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies. 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.