Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Hoping I'm Right in the Midwest

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: My husband and I are friends with a couple I'll call "Rusty and Cathy." We like their company, but we have very few of the same interests. The problem is, they believe that if a husband and wife do not share the same interests, it is OK for the husband to spend time with other women who do.

I believe this is setting the stage for these relationships to become full-blown affairs. Cathy says if you love someone, you should trust them, and she has no problem with Rusty seeing movies, plays, concerts, etc., with other women. This situation has really made our friendship stressful. I don't like seeing Rusty with women other than his wife, but I was willing to mind my own business until he suggested my husband should do the same when I am out of town or working.

Our other friends believe I am overreacting. My husband, by the way, agrees with me that these outside relationships are dangerous. Am I way off base on this? -- Hoping I'm Right in the Midwest

Dear Hoping: What kind of "interests" does Rusty have that he can't enjoy them with either his wife or his male friends? It's OK if Rusty has an extra ticket to a play and the only person available to go with him is a female friend, or if he's a member of a choir or volunteer organization that Cathy isn't interested in. But if he makes a regular habit of attending events with women other than his wife, yes, he is more vulnerable to an affair. We hope his wife's trust is not misplaced.

Dear Annie: I'm a 53-year-old man, living with a slightly younger woman. We both have grown children. I love "Bonnie," and we have discussed marriage. However, since we both have been married and divorced twice, "until death do us part" doesn't hold much water.

I feel that a pre-nup agreement is prudent, but Bonnie says it means that I don't trust her. I do trust her, but I have more assets now than when I was first married, and I want to protect my two sons' interests. Am I out of line? -- Working Guy

Dear Working Guy: A pre-nup between people who each have children from previous marriages is not only prudent but necessary. Surely, Bonnie wants her children protected as well, and a pre-nup will see to that. No, it isn't romantic, but it is practical, and if Bonnie truly loves you, she will discuss it with an attorney.

Dear Annie: I, too, am a rather unwilling Army wife. My husband, a lawyer, sent in his application packet to the Army Reserve on Sept. 11, 2001. By the time he returns from Iraq, he will have been gone for 18 months of our five-year marriage.


Every time I start thinking, "I didn't sign up for this," I remind myself of the wives and children of previous wars. During WWII, my grandfather was gone for three years. I am fortunate enough to talk to my husband nearly every day and have e-mail contact the rest of the time.

I wear a "Support Our Troops" bracelet and a yellow ribbon, and fly an American Flag and a Service Flag at our house. I have a bumper sticker that reads "Half My Heart is in Iraq."

The Army Reserve has a wonderful family support system, and my husband's employer makes up the difference in his salary. The Soldiers and Sailors Relief Act helps with a multitude of financial concerns. Our neighbors have been wonderful, and my church has been there for me.

Men with a service history nearly always want to jump back into the fray. "North Carolina's" husband should have discussed his decision with her, but right now her support is vital. -- A Proud Army Wife in Alabama

Dear Proud Wife: Regardless of how a husband or wife feels about the spouse enlisting, you are right that it is important to be as supportive as possible once the deed is done. Thanks for saying so.


"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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