Dear Annie: I have been in a committed relationship for a year. Admittedly, my girlfriend and I (we are lesbians) rushed into things. We moved in together quickly when she broke up with her girlfriend of five years. After the first month, “Dennie” cheated on me with her ex. I wrote it off, but a few months later, she cheated again. I have generalized anxiety disorder and started to associate going to work with Dennie’s cheating, which made my work life miserable.
Shortly after all of this happened, I emotionally cheated with an ex of my own. I admitted this to Dennie. She was angry and sad, but I said she should give me a second chance because I’d already given her two. I deleted my ex’s phone number and blocked her in all forms of communication.
I recently found out that Dennie visited her ex when she was briefly in the hospital. It wasn’t cheating, but we had agreed that one of the conditions of continuing our relationship is that all contact with the exes must be stopped. One month later, Dennie cheated on me again with this same girl – in our home. It’s hard for me to look at Dennie the same way. My head keeps telling me to let her go, but my heart isn’t ready.
I’ve asked Dennie to go with me for counseling, but she says she wants us to work it out on our own. She says she isn’t the only one at fault. We’ve both made mistakes, but the difference is that I’ve learned from mine. I can’t continue unless we both can be faithful. What should I do? — Cheated On Again
Dear Cheated On: Dennie is not yet over her ex, and you seem well aware of it. You were her rebound. You desperately want Dennie to be someone she is not, and it isn’t working out. Unless you want your heart broken over and over, please let her go. Even if she doesn’t return to her ex, her next relationship might not be with you. If you can accept this outcome, you can move forward.
Dear Annie: Growing up, I thought if I had siblings, I would have learned how to get along with others my own age. But now that I have reached the ripe old age of 70, I am grateful to have been an only child. Here’s why:
There was enough money to send me to college. I have read countless letters in your column complaining about siblings and have listened to the complaints of my friends about theirs. I knew it was totally on me to make decisions about my parents’ health as they became unable to do so, with no arguments from siblings.
So for your readers out there who are thinking of stopping after one child, I say good idea. — Only Child in Massachusetts
Dear Child: We are glad you have embraced your status. But for every person who is happy to be an only child, you will find others who could not imagine their lives without their loving siblings. Granted, people complain about their relatives, and when it comes to advice columns, you are more likely to read about problems. We know that siblings can drive you crazy – so can spouses and parents. But a good relationship with a brother or sister can be a source of comfort throughout life.
Dear Annie: “A Loving and Lonely Grandma” said her teenage granddaughter avoids her because of her raspy voice. At least one of the parents is complicit in the girl’s behavior. I can understand her being embarrassed. Teenagers can be embarrassed by your breathing. But sometime in the distant past, her parents should have stopped the behavior, saying, “How would you feel if someone treated you like that because you had a different voice?” It’s a teaching moment. — S.B.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.