High School Happens
Dear Margo: I am brokenhearted about losing my husband of 25 years. I had no idea he was unhappy and longing for a different life. We’re in our early 60s, and we both got laid off. That began a wonderful adventure, but it recently turned very sour.
It all started earlier this year when he received a phone call from an old high-school girlfriend who he said was his first love. Well, now they are renewing their romance. At the time this woman called, I thought nothing of it because my husband assured me nothing would come of it. Ha! And did I mention that this other woman has been married to the same man for 40 years and is planning to leave him for my husband?
I need advice and cannot afford counseling. I am not religious, so that’s not an option. One more thing: My son and his wife are expecting their third child and live across the county from me. I am planning to see them in two weeks to help out with their toddlers because my daughter-in-law is due next month. We both have grown children from previous marriages, and I don’t think our kids have a clue as to what is going on. — Wrung Out
Dear Wrung: I am really sorry that the high-school flame called and blew up two marriages. This rekindling business is becoming more and more common — not that that makes your situation any easier. As for psychological help, check your insurance policy to see what they will provide. Also, there is useful guidance atwww.healthcaresurvivalguide.
I think one bit of good luck is your upcoming trip to be a helpful granny. I hope you stay a good long time, which will give you the chance to be without your husband, but not alone. There is always the chance that Miss First Love from high school will not go through with it, but if your marriage does end, get a good lawyer to negotiate a fair settlement. I hope your spirits lift. One never knows what is around the corner — or across the country. I am a big believer in changing the scenery. — Margo, alternatively
“None of Your Business,” but Politely
Dear Margo: My husband and I have been married for several years, have good jobs and a nice home, and are at that age where all of our friends are having babies. We had planned on having babies, too, but found out that I am infertile. We were devastated at first, but after much prayer and meditation, we came to the realization that it is OK not to have kids. We are happy simply being the loving aunt and uncle.
Problem is, some people knew we were trying, and everyone seems to be asking when we will have kids. I have dodged the questions by saying we are busy working or having fun, because to say the truth seems deeply personal and, as I found when I told family members, it leads to suggestions about fertility drugs, IVF and adoption: all questions I do not want to discuss. How do I politely respond to all those nosy people and avoid the follow-up questions? — Dreading Questions
Dear Dread: I’m guessing you are a new reader, because I have been dealing with some variation of this question for a looong time. I am a great believer in not answering every question that is asked, and also in letting people know that they have overstepped. The next time someone asks about your reproductive plans, I pass on what writer and critic Renata Adler said to me when I asked an inappropriate question: “We could talk about it sometime.” Though sounding courteous, it stings — and proof of this is that I remember it after many years. — Margo, definitively
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Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via the online form at www.creators.com/dear-margo.html. Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.
COPYRIGHT 2012 MARGO HOWARD
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Every Thursday and Friday, you can find “Dear Margo” and her latest words of wisdom on wowOwow