An Old Flame Returns -- 30 Years Later
Dear Annie: I've been married to the love of my life for 15 years, but the last 10 years have been different from the first five. My wife has been suffering from depression due to some health reasons with her thyroid, but my problem is that she has stopped going to the doctor.
I beg her to go, but it always ends in an argument. Recently, she started taking showers only twice a month, and she doesn't clean up after herself. She usually has our children do it.
I'm at my wits' end. I still love her and would never leave her because I made a vow, and she knows it. -- At My Wits' End
Dear At My Wit's End: Watching your wife suffer from depression is devastating. You are living with all the symptoms, and it is affecting the whole family. The person who is most at their wits' end is your wife.
Untreated depression is a terrible way to live. She needs help immediately -- not just from a thyroid doctor but from a trained psychiatrist who specializes in depression and can get her on the correct path toward wellness. Tell her that this is not only for her sake but also for the sake of your children and your marriage. Continue to support her, but don't give up on fighting to get her help.
Dear Annie: Thirty years ago, I met a man and fell in love with him. But he never asked me to marry him. He was 10 years older than me and had two small children. Life went on. I had kids of my own, who are grown now, and both still live at home. I take care of them and their dad.
Now, 30 years later, I can't help but feel that I still love the man I met so long ago. We are in communication, and he wants me to leave my family.
I have never been happy with my life, but I always push on. I'm so worried about doing something for myself, and this time I am tempted, but I just don't know what to do. Please help. -- Lost in the Past
Dear Lost in the Past: The rearview mirror is much smaller than the windshield. Drive forward to the life YOU want for yourself. However, your old flame has no right to ask you to leave your family. He sounds like a control freak who needs to stop interfering with your relationship between your children and their father. If he really wanted you to "run away with him" and leave your family, he should have done so when you two first met, and he should have asked you to marry him.
"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- 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.