Husband’s sweet talk an attempt to mask betrayal
By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar
Creators Syndicate Inc.
DEAR ANNIE: I’ve been married to "Kerry" for two years. I spend all my energy cleaning up after him. When I ask him to help out more, he’ll comply by doing the dishes once. His negative attitude drains me of any desire to be intimate, so he has turned to Internet porn.
I recently discovered Kerry joined an adult Web site that lets you meet women. When I confronted him, he claimed it was just to look at the pictures they posted. Then, in his very next sentence, he said he’d like to start a family. We have discussed children before, and he’s always been adamant that he wants to wait a few more years.
I think his sudden interest in kids was just to take the heat off. I am exhausted and depressed, and my self-esteem is rock bottom. Any advice? — Working Wife
DEAR WORKING: We agree that Kerry’s blather about children is simply a way to distract you from his betrayal. If all he’s interested in are pictures, there’s no reason to access a site where he can meet women. He needs to regain your trust, and the best way is for both of you to go for counseling. Insist on it.
DEAR ANNIE: I have been living with bad karma for the past 30 years. So much goes wrong for me, despite my determination to prevent it.
It would help if I could talk my problems over with a friend or family member, but no one wants to hear it. They all say I am too negative. I try to maintain a positive attitude, but it’s terribly hard when one catastrophe follows another. I listen to their problems. But mine? Forget it. What’s the secret to being positive all the time? — Smiling Through the Tears
DEAR SMILING: Of course it helps to unburden yourself, but you have apparently overwhelmed your friends and family members. No one wants to listen to a litany of sad stories. Consider talking to a professional who not only will listen, but will be able to advise you on ways to find the positives inside those negatives.
DEAR ANNIE: The letter from "Surviving," who said caregivers need to be tolerant of angry cancer patients, hit a sensitive spot.
My husband died of cancer at age 42. Anger and frustration mean the patient is suffering and deserves help. It doesn’t mean he gets to take it out on those nearest. I’d like to recommend this excellent piece that I found on the National Cancer Institute website (www.cancer.gov), author unknown. — Former Caregiver
Caregiver’s Bill of Rights
I have the right to take care of myself. This is not an act of selfishness. It will give me the ability to take better care of my loved one.
I have the right to seek help from others even though my loved one may object. I know the limits of my own endurance and strength.
I have the right to maintain parts of my own life that do not include the person I care for, just as I would if he were healthy. I know that I do everything that I reasonably can do for this person. I have the right to do some things just for myself.
I have the right to get angry, be depressed and express difficult feelings once in a while.
I have the right to reject any attempt by my loved one to make me do things out of guilt or anger.
I have the right to get consideration, affection, forgiveness and acceptance for what I do for my loved one, as I offer these in return.
I have the right to take pride in what I’m doing. And I have the right to applaud the courage it has taken to meet the needs of my loved one.
I have the right to protect my individuality. I also have the right to a life that will sustain me in times when my loved one no longer needs my full-time help.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.