Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: A Discarded Wife

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: Can someone explain to me how a man can take a 33-year marriage and just walk away? The heck with his children, grandchildren and wife.

We must sell our home of 30 years, as this is a no-fault divorce state. I have not worked in 30 years, and at age 55, I must find a job, probably one that pays minimum wage. I have many health-related problems, but my husband's response is, "too bad."

I have loved my husband since the first day we met, and this is tearing me apart. To be forced into leaving my home, putting the grandchildren in day care and knowing that I will now grow old alone is terrifying.

Of course it's another woman. How can any woman look at herself in the mirror, knowing she has come between a couple married 33 years? How do she and my husband get up every day and continue their lives, as if no one is being hurt? My question to the Other Woman is, don't you have any compassion, respect or dignity? I hope all you Other Women one day know the pain you have caused a wife somewhere. Thanks for listening. -- A Discarded Wife

Dear Wife: Most Other Women convince themselves they are hurting no one. They want to believe a man who says his wife is cold and unresponsive, and they don't consider what the deception may do to his children. Women of character do not seek out married men, and those who accidentally become involved end the affair as soon as possible. The others, well, they can have the comfort of worrying that a man who cheated on his wife is likely to cheat on them as well.

We hope you are receiving therapy and good legal advice. You also could use some job counseling. Try the YWCA or your state Department of Labor, which may offer assistance for displaced homemakers. Good luck to you.

Dear Annie: I'm a healthy, active woman of 65. My friends think I'm fun and interesting, but my children think I'm ancient, feeble and have one foot in the grave. They leave me out of any activity that's the least bit exciting and ignore me for family gatherings, saying, "We didn't know if you'd be up to it."

I do my own housework and care for an elderly neighbor, walk every day with friends and do volunteer work. I keep myself in shape, and most people tell me I look "cute." I love music, sports and movies.


My husband recently passed away. My children and I used to be close, but now they go out of their way to plan parties and trips with others, even people my age, but exclude me. Can you remind them that I can still feel hurt? -- Wannabe Mom

Dear Wannabe: Your children do not have to include you in activities they plan with friends, regardless of age. They are not responsible for your entertainment. However, they should include you in family gatherings whenever possible, and we're not sure why they don't. Do they mistakenly believe that, because you are still mourning your late husband, you would reject their invitations or be depressing company?

Instead of stewing over it, have a long talk with your children. Explain that you feel abandoned, and ask them to remember you when the family gets together. If they seem reluctant, ask them why -- and pay attention to the answer.

Dear Annie: This is in response to "Apart in New Mexico," whose husband travels frequently. I've been in the submarine service and have often witnessed long separations. They should make videotapes -- the kids to give to Dad while he is away and Dad for the kids at home. Dad could read a story on the video, or just talk or play a game with questions and answers. Hope this helps. -- Anonymous

Dear Anonymous: A great idea to allow Dad to be "nearby." Many thanks.


"Annie's Mailbox" is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2017. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at




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