Dear Annie: I’ve been married for 11 years and together with my husband for 20. Around two years ago, we began experiencing loss after loss, and our marriage seemed just OK. We lost his father and a son to suicide. It was more than we’d ever lost before.
I started to notice my husband wanted to stay all night at his brother-in-law’s more often. Around two weeks ago, I busted him texting a girl, “I want to see you.” He said it was a friend of theirs and that their relationship was never more than hanging out and drinking between 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. I called the girl and she insisted they are just friends as well.
A week ago, I realized while I was at the hospital with my dying dad that it was one of the evenings my husband stayed there at his brother-in-law’s and hung out with this woman. He swears it is never more than hanging out. In my head, I’m so back and forth and am not sure what to believe at this point.
-- Trying to Trust
Dear Trying: Even if your husband is just friends with this woman, as he claims, his priorities are far off from where they should be. His father-in-law is in the hospital dying and he’s out drinking at all hours with another woman? Completely inappropriate.
With how much loss you two have experienced, counseling is a must. Instead of shutting you out and turning to another woman in his grief, you and your husband should be looking to each other to commiserate and get through the hard times together, coming out even stronger than before.
Dear Annie: I cannot believe that I am asking for advice. I was always told that you solve your own problems, but this one, I cannot.
I am going on 59. I have no children and never married. I was engaged a few times to younger men. I was so busy having fun that I didn’t plan for the future. I have no siblings; my brother passed at 41. My own mother left when I was 3. I have my wonderful father, who is 84. He will likely leave this earth, not now, but before I do. I won’t have anyone but myself. I am in a nine-year relationship. His family will forget all about me if he should pass (God forbid!).
I am so angry at myself for having so much fun but never looking at the big picture. All I have is myself and a lot of great memories, but memories won’t be there for me as I age and need company.
-- From Fun to It’s Done
Dear It’s Done: It’s easy to be hard on yourself when you have the luxury of hindsight, but do be gentle. All of the things you’ve done and decisions you’ve made -- good, bad or otherwise -- have made you into the person you are today. While there are things you might regret not having done, there are also so many things you have yet to do.
It’s long been said that our friends are the family we choose for ourselves. Spend time with them. Immerse yourself in your community and new activities that pique your interest. Start saying yes to every new opportunity. Volunteer. Pursue new adventures with your father, boyfriend and his family every chance you get. Make new memories. Remember that you still haven’t met all the people you will love (and who will love you) in your lifetime. That is such a beautiful thing.