Dear Annie: I have been married to "Bruno" for 40 years. During this time, I have found his various porn magazines hidden in multiple places. My reaction has always been to throw them away and not mention it.
A few months ago, I again found his stash, but this time I left them where he had them hidden. I have discovered that he takes the magazines out to look at the women every time I leave the house. Every single time! I feel like he is cheating on me. It's very disturbing.
Bruno is otherwise a great guy, but that doesn't make his actions acceptable to me. Evidently, he is never going to stop this behavior and I don't think I can live with it. Now what? — Not Good Enough
Dear Enough: For 40 years, you've put up with this. Now that you know Bruno is looking at the pictures more frequently than you suspected, you are ready to call it a day. What did you think he was doing with those magazines? Reading the articles?
Please understand that, distasteful as it is, Bruno's porn fascination has nothing to do with you. And frankly, there is so much Internet porn these days, including live video, that checking out girlie magazines seems fairly benign. We aren't condoning Bruno's porn habit, but it doesn't seem to be the type of serious addiction that makes some men spend enormous amounts of time and money looking for increasingly active methods of stimulation.
Please ask yourself whether Bruno been a good husband. Does he pay attention to you? Does he treat you well? Does he help support you financially and emotionally? Is he a good companion? The magazine porn is only one part of your life and it doesn't have to be the most important part. Please talk to Bruno about this. Tell him how much it bothers you. Ask whether he would make a sincere effort to stop. Try S-Anon (sanon.org) for spouses of porn addicts. Get counseling if you need it. We don't think this is worth throwing away 40 years of an otherwise good marriage.
Dear Annie: I could have written the same letter as "Hopeless and Confused," who said she's been married for 24 years to a man who doesn't show any affection and responds to her requests for deep, meaningful talks with text messages.
Please tell her to run, don't walk, to a counselor knowledge in diagnosing Asperger's syndrome.
Our counselor helped me move past my 30 years of pain and resentment, helped my husband to understand the ramifications and frustrations of his condition, and best of all, taught us how to lower expectations and move forward in our marriage. We are joyfully celebrating anniversary 37 in November! — RA in PA
Dear RA: Thank you for suggesting this possibility. Asperger's syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder, and common symptoms include difficulty with social skills and communication. You could be right about this man, and "Hopeless" should look into it. More information is available through aspergersyndrome.org, autismspeaks.org and autism-society.org.
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.