Dear Annie: I am in my mid-20s and have been with my husband for seven years. Last year, while I was attending school and working, my husband started an affair. I also discovered information about his cheating dating back three years. I have found texts, social media messages and even a secret phone.
My husband doesn't know that I am aware of his affair. We have a toddler, and I don't know what to do. I cannot believe the man I love has been unfaithful for so long and I just found out about it.
I am seriously contemplating divorce, but I feel as if there is more to it. I think my husband may be a sex addict. This is how his father treated his mother for years, and maybe it's all he knows. I want to get him the help he needs, but I'm not sure how to handle the situation. - A Nurse in Need
Dear Nurse: This must be a terrible time for you, but you are making an awful lot of excuses for your husband's behavior. You need to tell him what you know and ask him to go with you for counseling. If he is a sex addict, he can get help. But if he refuses to do the necessary work to repair your marriage, you will have some tough decisions to make. Please get counseling on your own so you can do what is best for you and your child.
Dear Annie: I really like my mother-in-law, but she has terrible taste and insists on buying me clothes. For my birthday last year, she gave me a blouse that looked like it came from a rummage sale, even though it still had the sales slip attached. To make her happy, I tried it on, and she squealed with delight. I thought it was hideous.
I don't want to hurt her feelings, but I cannot possibly wear this blouse. However, I'd feel terrible if I took it back to the store and she found out. My husband says to just stick the blouse in the closet and forget about it, but what if she asks me to wear it? What should I do? - Trying To Be a Sweet DIL
Dear Trying: It's perfectly OK to thank your mother-in-law sweetly for the blouse and then return it. She is unlikely to find out. If she later asks you to wear it, you can say that it wasn't exactly your taste and you picked out something that matched your wardrobe better. But it would be a true kindness to ask her to accompany you the next time you go shopping. Tell her it's a "girl bonding" experience. Go out for lunch. Let her see the types of things that attract your attention. Ask her opinion. Help her pick out something you think looks good on her. This is how you get to know each other.
Dear Annie: I read with interest the letter from "Upset Dad," whose 14-year-old son wasn't getting enough playing time on his basketball team.
As a longtime coach, I wanted to give some input. Rightly or wrongly, the goal of school teams and coaches is to win the game without worrying about playing time. Parents should probably know this, but many don't. (Practice and scrimmages are a different story.) Parents are generally very poor evaluators of their child's talent. I would suspect this child is less skilled than the other players on the squad.
My advice would be to talk respectfully to the coach to find out what your child could be working on to get more playing time. You will learn a lot about the coach's mindset. Also, talk to your son about playing on a local church or other youth team. - Been on Both Sides
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.
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