Dear Annie: Thirteen years ago, my son met “Nadia.” She became pregnant and brought my first beautiful grandchild into the world. After they married, I did many things for her and enjoyed her company. They now have another child, a son who is 8.
Nadia was fired from her job after breaking some rules – I don’t know which ones – and hasn’t worked since. She also doesn’t cook, clean or do laundry. My son does all of these things after a full day at work and then helps the kids with their homework and bedtime routines.
I’m a former private investigator. A few years ago, I caught Nadia cheating and discovered that the other man lived with his mother and had custody of his child. I didn’t want my grandchildren to have divorced parents, so instead of telling my son, I called this man’s mother. I told her to end things, or I’d inform her ex-daughter-in-law about the affair and she could gain custody of those kids. The affair ended.
Last year, I noticed that Nadia was paying a lot of attention to my granddaughter’s horse trainer. A mutual friend told me that Nadia has been sleeping with this man for two years. Nadia texted graphic details to this friend, which she forwarded to me.
The friend told my son about the affair, and he sent Nadia packing. But she convinced him that the friend was lying, and he took her back. Annie, I have the proof in those text messages, but I don’t think my son can handle it. Their home life is a disaster. My grandson has stress migraines, and my granddaughter is angry.
It upsets me terribly to see my son treated in such a degrading way. Do I share the truth or wait until the children are grown? — Grandmother in Distress
Dear Grandmother: We understand your concern, but you are already overly involved in your son’s messed-up marriage. Please don’t put evidence in front of him, forcing him to confront a situation he is trying to deal with in his own way. The very best thing you can do is encourage your son to get his family into counseling. Explain that it is for the children’s sake. They are truly suffering.
Dear Annie: My son and his fiancee mailed wedding invitations, and for some reason, friends and relatives sent back the RSVP cards and included additional guests who were not listed on the invitation. Why do people assume they can do this?
My son now has to call each one and tell them they cannot bring extra guests. Should there have been a note in the invitation stating that the wedding venue is small and seating is limited? — Aggravated Mother
Dear Aggravated: No. Your son is handling this correctly by calling. We don’t know whether it is simply colossal nerve, a sense of entitlement, the fact that weddings have become less formal or that TV shows and movies often show invited guests bringing along their friends, but it is not uncommon for people to assume it’s OK to add extra people to the RSVP. It is not.
Dear Annie: Thanks for printing the letter from “Saddened.” I am so relieved to know I am not the only husband with the same dilemma. It’s hard for a male to confess he has these feelings and needs without sounding like a nag. I wish there was an answer.
Everything the writer said is the same at my home, including my deep love for my very uninterested wife of 44 years. I would show her this column, but it would only start tears. If she would just initiate holding hands or give me an occasional kiss, that would be so cool. I know she truly loves me, but she feels no need for physical intimacy. — O.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.