Is It Just a Game?
Dear Annie: My wife is borderline addicted to "Words With Friends" (an app game similar to Scrabble), and it's causing me concern, in addition to creating some strife within our marriage. It would be one thing if she were only playing with other female players, but she also has an ongoing game with a former male classmate, which I consider to be a form of online flirting. Would you agree, or am I overreacting?
I still work, and my wife is retired, so when I'm ready for bed because I have to get up early, she is wide-awake and ready for late-night games with friends (one in particular). I have suggested repeatedly that she go to bed when I go, but she says she isn't sleepy and is a late-night person, so she stays up until 1 or 2 a.m. playing "Words With Friends." This continues to cause disharmony in our marriage, and it's something I have a hard time accepting as permissible.
Please let me know how you and your readers feel about this issue. -- Concerned Husband
Dear Concerned Husband: Unless she's exchanging flirty messages with this old classmate or spelling out inappropriate words on the board, I wouldn't worry about the fact that she's playing with him. There's nothing wrong with connecting with old friends to play games online. There is, however, something wrong with allowing anything to consume your life -- be it alcohol, drugs, work, television or even "Words With Friends." Ask her whether she's game for a challenge: She uninstalls the app for two weeks; you commit to getting home from work on time and planning a few date nights during that period.
If she's unwilling to give up an app for two weeks for the health of her marriage, then this is a deeper problem that requires the help of a counselor.
Dear Annie: I never proposed marriage to my wife, and if you think it's worthy of printing, I will correct that in your column. We're both faithful readers, so I'm sure she'll see it. Here's our story.
My family moved to our city during Christmas break of the fifth grade. Though my future wife and I lived within a mile of each other and could both walk to school, we had no classes together and never met. In junior high, we rode different school buses and shared no classes together. In high school, the 10th and 11th grades brought no classes together, and still we never crossed paths. Our senior year, in preparation of college, we both took typing. That's the one class we ever shared. We started dating. We spent the first two years of college apart, but when we were home, we dated and spent a small fortune on stamps and envelopes to stay in touch. We spent the last two years of college together at the same university, and we dated each other exclusively. On a trip home during that last two years, we went to a jewelry store and put matching wedding bands on layaway. There was no engagement ring, nor was there a proposal. We just knew we were going to marry. So, now I'd like to ask: Teresa, will you marry me -- again? -- Bill
Dear Bill: This is certainly a first, but your letter gave me such a smile I couldn't not print it. I hope she says yes.
"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 firstname.lastname@example.org.