Solve Your Own Relationship Issues
Dear Annie: My wife "Monica" has been having a mostly texting affair with "Mike" for almost two years. There are emails where they address each other with, "Hey, babe." It is disgusting. I accidentally discovered this years ago, and again recently after I thought they had not talked for years.
Upon this discovery, I texted Mike angrily -- he is not someone I actually know, but I took his number from my wife's phone -- and my wife claims that it's "over." I've heard this before.
My wife asked me not to contact Mike's wife because "they would probably divorce if she found out." Why would I care about that? My wife thinks Mike is "a friend" and wouldn't want to see him hurt. I am sure he's not "a friend" and obviously wants something more.
Why should I honor my wife's wishes here? Doesn't Mike's wife deserve to know that he's in love with another woman? (His words, expressed in an email.)
Why do I have to be the only person who knows about this situation? I feel like someone else knowing -- Mike's wife, or maybe my wife's mom -- might shock either of these two people into realizing that they are risking too much by carrying on this way. We have kids, as do Mike and his wife.
Why shouldn't I tell Mike's wife? Doesn't she have a right to know about her husband's infidelity? -- Let the Truth Out
Dear Let the Truth Out: Yes, Mike's wife has a right to know about her husband's infidelity -- if, in fact, he has been unfaithful to her. Mike has to be the one to tell her about his feelings for your wife instead of you. Rather than focusing on someone else's relationship, continue to focus on your own.
Seek marriage counseling with your wife. Try to understand why she needs an emotional connection with another man via texting instead of you. Maybe you will learn something. I know you are hurting about the texts you found -- and I am sorry for that -- but hurting Mike's wife will not make it better. Instead, focus on repairing your relationship. Let Mike figure out his own stuff. When we lie to the ones we love, we only hurt ourselves, so my guess is that Mike is already suffering. Best of luck to you and your wife.
Dear Annie: Your answer to the parent of the 4-year-old who is not interested in books and can't sit still left out a possibility. Mom needs to talk to her pediatrician about the possibility that her son has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.
The description would make me, a retired pediatrician, very suspicious. If the pediatrician agrees that the boy has ADHD, the pediatrician can help for now with some behavioral management suggestions, but if the child starts having behavioral issues in school -- often in first grade -- medication may be very helpful and save the kid's educational progress. -- Retired Pediatrician
Dear Pediatrician: Thank you for your letter and insights. I always love to hear from professionals in their area of expertise. That is a wonderful possibility that I missed, and I thank you for pointing it out. Hopefully, it will help others who are struggling with similar situations.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book -- featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com.