Life Advice



Is It Too Late for an Honest Marriage?

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: I'm not sure if you print household tips, but the following was really helpful to us this summer:

After reading my small air conditioner unit's owner's manual, I always thought that I just needed to clean the filter monthly with a vacuum. After removing the front panel, however, I realized that more extensive cleaning needed to be done. There was quite a bit of dust and grime in there. A six-minute YouTube video helped me to give it a safe, deeper cleaning using household materials.

By unplugging the unit, cleaning the filter with dishwashing liquid in the sink, cleaning the fins gently with a toothbrush and compressed air, and spritzing the outer panel with hydrogen peroxide, the unit was as good as new. After allowing everything to dry and replacing the parts, I then plugged it in. I'm not sure if it's a coincidence, but colds and upper respiratory issues, which my husband and I had been plagued with over the summer, cleared up within a few days! -- Helpful Household Tips

Dear Household Tips: Thank you for these tips on keeping your air quality clean. I don't think it's a coincidence that you are having fewer cold and flu issues. Clean air equals clean lungs and body.

Dear Annie: I've been married for 47 years and realized early on that my husband was an in-the-closet gay man. He admits he used me to keep people and family from knowing. I've tried to leave him, but I always go back because he promises to not cheat anymore with other men. But it stays the same. Now our children are grown, and it's just the two of us. He has a lot of health issues and claims he needs me to be there for him.

Also, we don't have marital relations anymore. Actually, it has been over 20 years. I'm so lonely and long to be touched and romanced, but I'm 74 now, and I don't think I will ever find that in my life. I care about him so much, but I feel used, and I am very resentful toward him. I'm so depressed. I just don't know what to do. I can't leave now due to finances. -- I Think I'm Stuck


Dear Stuck: It sounds like he thought the two of you had an arrangement in your marriage but that arrangement is simply not working for you. What your husband did was selfish and cruel. And it is no wonder you are depressed. You deserve to be romanced and told the truth from the beginning. The good news is that it is not too late. It is time to leave your husband with the understanding that the two of you can still be friends. You are just leaving him as a wife.

Once you get away from the toxic situation you are in, then you should seek the help of a professional therapist who can help you sort out the understandable anger you have toward him and the grief you will feel mourning all the years spent in a relationship that was built on false pretenses.


"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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