Dear Annie: I am a 68-year-old twice-divorced woman who has made some unwise decisions in my life. I'm single (which is fine) and will be retiring at year's end. I'm currently living with an egotistical, frugal, cold-as-ice 75-year-old man who claims he loves me, yet he dominates every conversation, lacks social skills, ignores etiquette and attempts to control me.
I didn't know him long enough before I moved to be with him. We met at a dance when he was in town visiting friends. I still couldn't discern infatuation from love. I wanted a fairy tale. I thought with my heart instead of my head. After a while, dancing four nights a week wears thin when that's all there is to enjoy together. I haven't been happy for several years. We've made some nice friends, but if I don't suggest getting together, they never would.
My children and siblings live out of state, and I want to move back home. How can I do that and save face with my family and friends? They warned me that I was rushing into things. - Danced Enough
Dear Danced: You'd rather be unhappy than admit you made a mistake? It could be very freeing to say to your friends and family, "You were right. I should have listened." Then it's over. Just make sure you don't repeat the mistake. Take some time to figure out what is best for you, without focusing on the next man in your life.
Dear Annie: I've been married for 45 years. I love my wife, but I like to flirt with women.
Last year I did more than flirt, and my wife found out. I asked her to forgive me, and she did. But when she keeps asking for an explanation, I blow her off, leave or get upset until she quits asking annoying questions. Should I tell her to get over it, or sit down with her and tell her the entire truth, even if it is more than she can handle? - Wondering
Dear Wondering: You cheated on your wife, and you find her questions "annoying"? Your wife deserves your complete honesty. It's not up to you to decide what is too much for her to handle. She might forgive you, but she will never be able to trust you again if she doesn't believe you are totally truthful, answering any questions she has for as long as it takes.
Ask your doctor to refer you to a marriage counselor so the two of you can hash this out and truly start fresh.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Need Help in Jacksonville, Fla.," the elderly couple who could use some help with the housekeeping, but felt that cleaning service personnel could not be trusted to keep their hands off of their valuables. There is another side to that story that needs to be mentioned.
My 80-year-old parents often tell me that "someone" who visited their home must have stolen various items, because they could not find these things. My friends with parents that age tell me the same thing. They are convinced someone has stolen everything from watches and money to kitchen utensils and cookie sheets.
My mother even accused a family member of stealing a watch that she later found right where she had misplaced it. As you can well imagine, that did some damage to their relationship.
At the age of 50-something, I spend a good deal of time looking for my own misplaced things. Thank goodness I am not yet at the point where I am convinced these things were stolen, but I suspect that time will come soon enough. - A Weary Daughter
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.