Dear Annie: I used to travel a fair amount for my job. These trips included lunches and dinners with my co-workers, sometimes in groups, sometimes not. At no time did I ever have the faintest interest in having an affair. But my husband thinks otherwise.
During the entire time I traveled, he constantly accused me of sleeping with “somebody.” I never once gave him a reason to think I was cheating. I recognized that this was just his way of dealing with his own insecurities and poor self-image.
I have not worked for a number of years, but on occasion, he stills insinuates that I had affairs. Instead of being supportive of my hard work then and now, he thinks it’s more important to keep suggesting that I’m always looking for someone else to sleep with. How do I get him to stop? — Not a Cheater
Dear Not: Your husband sounds overly suspicious. We don’t mean to add to the problem, but sometimes those who are having affairs accuse the spouse of the same offense. Tell your husband that his continuing accusations undermine your trust and make you wonder what is really going on. Counseling could help get to the bottom of it. If he is unwilling, you can choose to turn a deaf ear or get counseling on your own. However, if his accusations become more strident or more frequent, this could indicate mental health or medical issues, and he should see his doctor.
Dear Annie: I recently made a new friend at work. We have known each other for three months, and we get along great. However, imagine my surprise last week when she told me she used my first name on an online dating site. At first I just thought it was a little weird, but now I feel really uncomfortable about it and don’t know what to do.
How can I get her to change her online profile without ruining our work relationship? — Miffed
Dear Miffed: This was presumptuous but not disastrous. If she used only your first name and the rest of her information is her own, it’s annoying but not compromising. However, the fact that she would do this without consulting you indicates that she could easily take other liberties down the road, so you are smart to nip this in the bud.
Be nice but honest. Say, “Dottie, remember when you said you used my first name on your dating profile? It really made me uncomfortable. And prospective dates don’t like that sort of thing, either. Please change it immediately.” If she is the type who would end a friendship over this, consider it a bullet dodged.
Dear Annie: Hats off to you for printing the letter about World Suicide Prevention Day and bringing awareness to one of the most difficult events that happens in life. Only when you walk in these shoes do you understand what a person is going through when they become a survivor of a suicide.
I lost my nephew to suicide in 2008. As difficult as it was, I sought the support of our local Survivors of Suicide support group. They understood exactly what our family was going through. Through their love, support and compassion, I was able to hold myself together.
It has now been four years, and my life has gone on, but not without difficult days and sadness. Without the support group, it would have been much more difficult. I continue with the support group so that the incoming folks can see that life goes beyond their present grief.
Please, if you find yourself in this situation, seek out S.O.S. through a national hotline, your local family services or on the Internet, for they understand your pain, and they give you hope when such darkness shadows your life. — S.O.S. Survivor
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.