Picking Up the Pieces
Dear Margo: I just found out that my wife of 32 years has been playing me for a fool all this time. It started when we were dating. On rare occasions, my girlfriend (now wife) would initiate sex and insisted we didn’t need protection. I didn’t complain, maybe because she had a very low sex drive. This began in college and continued after we married up until she had her tubes tied after the birth of our third child. This would happen every six months during school and every year after we were married.
Now, 32 years later, I find out that the motivation for her increased libido was that she would have unprotected sex with some other guy and wanted to ensure that if she was pregnant I would think it was mine. On top of that, one of our kids was conceived right after one of her “lapses,” and everyone, including his brothers, knows I’m not the father.
It’s time to file for divorce. The other kids are all adults. What do I tell them? You can bet I’m going to tell her sisters and everyone she knows, if only because she has always acted like Little Miss Perfect. I feel like such a fool. Why did I marry this woman? — Burned Up
Dear Burn: I really have no idea why you married this woman, just as I have no idea why a woman with a low sex drive was stepping out on you, how everyone knew of her lapses, not to mention how it became common knowledge that one of the boys was not sired by you.
However … your immediate question seems to be what to tell your children. Try this: “Your mother and I have decided to divorce.” Take the high road. My hunch is that they will intuit the reason. As for feeling like a fool, I hope you can lay that burden down. It happens to many people and for many different reasons. As Stella Adler told her acting students, “Don’t go back, go on.” — Margo, restoratively
17 Is Too Young for Final Decisions
Dear Margo: I am 17 years old and have been dating my boyfriend (19) for 10 months. Prior to the relationship, we were friends for three years. We know each other very well, and he’s probably the only person I can tell everything.
Last year, he moved to the United States. I live in Belize, and although I don’t really have a problem with the long-distance relationship, it gets hard at times. I have many male friends. The problem is that I find myself having feelings for one friend in particular. We see each other a lot at school. (We’re both in junior college.) We talk and hang out and have become pretty close. This friend also has a girlfriend who ironically lives in the same area as my boyfriend.
I love my boyfriend, but sometimes I have sexual thoughts about this friend. He’s one of the few people who can understand my situation (the long-distance relationship). Is this a sign of emotional cheating? — Confused
Dear Con: Time and distance at your age equals the chance to gain more experience. At 17, you should date different people, if only for the purpose of making comparisons. I hope, before you settle on a partner, you will have dated lots of people.
If you have an agreement with your boyfriend who’s moved to the States, tell him, given the circumstances, you think the two of you should have the freedom to date other people. (He may even feel as you do.) I guess I don’t think someone your age should even be thinking about “emotional cheating,” because you are too young to have made the commitment of exclusivity in the first place. — Margo, historically
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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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