Life Advice



Dishonesty Is a Dealbreaker

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: My Brazilian wife recently went to her native country for the first time in 10 years. She wanted to see her family. In the three years we have been married, never once had she ever discussed or hinted at getting any type of plastic surgery. About two weeks into her seven-week vacation, she disappeared for three days.

She sent me a text saying, "Honey, I have a serious migraine, going to take pill and stay in dark room"! She said to text her sister if I need to. Well, for three days, I heard nothing -- nada! Her phone was turned off. Her sister said in Portuguese, "Bad headache; took strong pills."

Mind you, we have for two years been in the care of Moffitt Breast Cancer Center. I have driven her the 203 miles for each and every appointment, surgery and seven weeks of radiation treatments, and never once would she take even one pain pill -- not once.

She rejected every FaceTime request I made and would only talk or text me after those three nightmare days. As it turns out, her sister in Portugal lied to me, and her daughter here in the U.S. also lied to me via text and in person. And her sister in the United States came over to take me to dinner and then lied to me.

Once the truth emerged, I discovered that my wife had a surgical face lift and she got three tattoos.

All her relatives knew before she left on vacation that she had made these plans. I feel violated, deceived and lied to. There is zero trust. I want a divorce. As I told her before we were married, I can deal with infidelity, but I will not accept a lie.

I've packed all her belongings in her car, and they will be delivered to her daughter's house. -- Done

Dear Done: You sound close to hysterical about what your wife did. It is understandable that being lied to would make anyone angry, but before you rush to pack up her things and file for divorce, can you ask yourself why she didn't feel that she could tell you the truth?


Was she afraid that you would say no? Are you very controlling? Or does she not feel comfortable enough to discuss these life-altering decisions with you? Before you make your final decision, you have to speak with her when you are calm and collected. Seeking the help of a trained marriage counselor will help both of you sort out what the next steps are.

Dear Annie: I fully agree with your advice to the letter writer "Unbelieving in Oregon," who is upset about people having loud cellphone conversations in public. However, if they must say something, I have a suggestion for them -- if they think they can read the room well and pull off a little bit of humor.

Some people are truly unaware of how loud they are on the phone. If this appears to be the case, and they don't seem to be too agitated by the conversation, my go to is: "Excuse me? Would you please not invade our public quiet with your private call? I understand this conversation is important, but I don't think you want us, as complete strangers, to know all the details about (insert personal detail that they just offered up for free to the general public)."

It's a little blunt, but a follow-up with a friendly smile tends to smooth over any ruffled feathers. -- Ruffled Feathers

Dear Ruffled: That is great advice; as you say, however, it depends on their reading the room well and being able to smile and use a little bit of humor.


"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 for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to




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