Life Advice



Mixed Signals Tell You All You Need to Know

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: I've been in an on-and-off relationship with a guy for four years. He has a lot of female friends, and I'm not really sure how I am supposed to feel about that. He goes to dinner with them for their birthdays and meets them out for drinks, and yet he won't introduce me to them as his girlfriend. He tells me that my jealousy is a turnoff, but I feel like some boundaries are being crossed here. Please help. -- Jealous and Confused

Dear Jealous and Confused: You have every right to feel jealous and confused. But there is not much confusion, really. He is dismissing your feelings and shutting you out of a part of his life. I say move on and find someone who is better for you.

Dear Annie: This is the first time I've ever written to an advice columnist, but I recently read your column with the letter from "Baffled Daughter," whose mother was a 77-year-old woman who admitted to having an affair with a young male nurse who is married with children.

You gave sound advice about reporting it to the rehab facility, but I just wanted to suggest one possibility: She could have dementia. My mother is now 90 years old and has been in a nursing home for 12 years with dementia (bedridden now), but 14 years ago, she told me she had been kidnapped by a neighbor on the block and that he had taken her keys and had a priest marry them. This was my first sign of realizing that my mother was mentally off; the neighbor had died six months earlier of the same disease, so she had not seen him that day but she thought that she had.

It's just a thought -- that the 77-year-old woman also has a form of memory loss and therefore has problems with reality.


I enjoy your column, so keep up the great work! -- Dementia Advice

Dear Dementia Advice: You bring up a great point. She should have her mother checked for memory care, as the whole affair might have been something she imagined because of dementia. Thanks for writing.


"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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