Annie's Mailbox: Hurt and Betrayed
Dear Annie: My husband and I were in a social group with several other women who I thought were friends. A short time ago, he told me that two of the women came to him under the pretense of being concerned about our marriage. They claimed I had said negative things about him that he should be aware of.
Most of what they told him were lies, and the rest was blown out of proportion. Unfortunately, he seems to believe them. I am hurt by this and no longer want to be friends with these women. My husband thinks I'm being unfair. This is causing all sorts of trouble in our marriage. Please help. -- Hurt and Betrayed
Dear Hurt: It is not unusual for women to talk about their husbands, both positively and negatively. A good friend understands that these comments are generally about blowing off steam and are not meant to be repeated. A woman with ulterior motives, however, would be happy to make the wife look bad and provide a reason to chum up to the husband. Although, since two women did this, we wonder what, exactly, you said to them.
Your real problem, however, is that your husband prefers to believe these women instead of his wife. Tell him those friendships are over, and if he doesn't trust you, it's time for marriage counseling. And we recommend in the future you be more careful about what you say and to whom.
Dear Annie: Over the course of our 35-year marriage, my husband and I have had problems with alcohol. I gave up hard liquor four years ago and recently stopped drinking beer. My husband continues to drink, though he insists he doesn't have a problem because he goes to work every day. "Jay" won't acknowledge what the rest of us have to put up with when he drinks. He doesn't remember his actions or makes excuses as if his drinking is my fault.
Since I've been completely sober, a cloud has lifted from my brain and I am able to do things I hadn't done in years. I am more outgoing and friendly, which makes Jay so jealous that he becomes absolutely irate. He will be angry with me for hours because I talked to someone other than him.
Jay insists I am the one with the problem. We still have a child at home who has to hear this nonsense. I can't talk rationally to Jay when he has had more than three drinks because he rants, and when he's sober, he won't talk about it. He insists I've misunderstood, because he doesn't recall saying the things that hurt so much. Or he clams up, fixes a drink and hides in the bedroom.
Jay's irrational moods are becoming more frequent. How do I respond to him now? -- Sober in San Diego
Dear Sober: We're glad you found a way to stop drinking, but Jay obviously has not, and it is affecting his family. Not to mention, he can't remember what he said and is irrational for extended periods of time. He is an alcoholic. It's time to contact Al-Anon (al-anon.alateen.org) at 1-888-4AL-ANON (1-888-425-2666). Your child deserves better.
Dear Annie: My wife could have written the letter from "Following in His Footsteps," whose husband always walks ahead of her. Here's the rub: If I slow down so my wife can walk beside me, she walks even slower. I don't know if it's unintentional or some kind of power move. When she wants to keep up, I hold her hand. By the way, the same thing happens when she follows me in her car (not the holding hands part). -- Omaha
Dear Omaha: It's possible you still walk too fast for your wife to comfortably keep up, so she eventually lags behind. But we are glad to know you don't hold hands while driving separate cars. Tricky.
"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 www.creators.com.