Editor's Note: Hundreds of Ann Landers' loyal readers have requested that newspapers continue to publish her columns. These letters originally appeared in 1999.
Dear Ann Landers: I just learned that my ex-husband is the father of a baby boy with his new wife. I am devastated by this news. We have been divorced for 10 years, but I never stopped loving him.
Eight months after I married "Andy," he had a vasectomy without telling me. We spent another year trying to have a baby. Actually, I was the only one who was trying. Andy was stringing me along. He knew he could not father a child, but he made me believe the fault was mine. I discovered the truth when I went to see a fertility specialist. The doctor said there was no physical reason I could not become pregnant and suggested that my husband be checked. It was then that Andy told me about the vasectomy. The following year, he divorced me on the grounds that he wasn't cut out for marriage. Later that year, he got married to someone else and apparently had his vasectomy reversed.
Now I am faced with a terrible sense of loss. How in the world could this have happened? Andy's new family should have been OURS. I tried to adopt a child, but as a single woman, this is very difficult unless you have a great deal of money. I know I can't turn back the clock, but learning about Andy's baby has brought back all the hurt. How can I rid myself of this pain? — Need Help in Tacoma, Wash.
Dear Tacoma: Andy is a liar and a cheat. Had you stayed married to him, he would have given you endless grief. Count your blessings. You missed a speeding bullet. Call your local child-welfare agency, and inquire about being a foster parent.
There are a great many children who need homes but are not adoptable for a variety of reasons. Good luck to you, dear.
Dear Ann Landers: Have Americans forgotten there is such a thing as verb tense? I am shocked when I hear people say "woulda came," "coulda went," "shoulda did," "woulda took," "had went," "hadn't came" and so on. Don't they realize "woulda" and "coulda" are slang versions of "would've" and "could've" — which are contractions for "would have" and "could have"?
I heard a narrator say, "I seen," in a political commercial and a TV reporter say, "We haven't spoke." An attorney in a television show said, "The evidence do not," and a TV anchorwoman said, "Had threw it" and "between you and I."
I was a secretary for almost 50 years and am thankful that, with only a high school education, my English is impeccable. You will do a lot of folks a big favor if you print this letter and bring it to their attention. — E.E., Wood Ridge, N.J.
Dear E.E.: Thanks for taking the time and trouble to write. I shoulda thunk to tell them off myself.
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