Annie's Mailbox: Woman's boyfriend won't leave his wife

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Dear Annie: I have been with the man of my dreams for a little more than three years. We have a son together, and I am the happiest I can remember being. There is just one problem. “Karl” is still married.

Karl lives with our son and me, but every time his wife or one of their kids snaps their fingers, he jumps. Sometimes, that means our toddler gets the short end of things and so do I.

This wouldn’t bother me so much if Karl would finally get his divorce. I’ve asked him about it, and he always says he has to “talk to his wife,” but he won’t do it in front of the children and she is never without at least one of them. On top of that, she doesn’t have a job and gets almost half of Karl’s paycheck. Karl says the kids would be homeless if he didn’t give her the money.

I would be more tolerant if he had some sort of court paper limiting how long she can suck us dry. I love him and one day would like to be able to afford a house or even a family trip. Any suggestions?

-- In Love but Fed Up

Dear In Love: Sorry to break it to you, but the wife isn’t going to make it easy for Karl to get a divorce, assuming he truly wants one (and we have our doubts). He likely will be supporting her and certainly the children until the youngest is 18. She’s not sucking you dry. That money belongs to her. Karl should either get a divorce or go back to his wife. This limbo situation is not fair to anyone. Tell him it’s time to man up and do the right thing already.

Dear Annie: My wonderful husband and I live along the gulf coast near the beach. Every year, his many relatives begin making “reservations” to stay with us throughout the summer. It could be anywhere from two to six people.

They’ve already started making their plans for this year. Because of the constant requests for visits, I’ve begun to dread the summer, which used to be my favorite time. I realize it puts my husband in an awkward situation, but he refuses to tell them “no.” Ever.

We both have demanding jobs, are rarely home and really value our time off. If just once they would offer to get a hotel room or invite us out, I would not resent it so much. How can I address this without seeming selfish and rude?

-- Life’s a Beach

Dear Beach: You can’t do anything if your husband keeps telling the relatives they are welcome to come. If he refuses to stop being the family doormat, we recommend you make your own plans for the summer and enjoy yourself somewhere else.

Dear Annie: The letter from “Going Gray and Loving It” made me chuckle. I stopped coloring my hair just before my 50th birthday almost three years ago and have not received anything but compliments. Most come from other women who still color their hair. They tell me they are not that brave.

My hairdresser is my daughter, and although she was resistant at first, she loves the color now. She feared the gray would make me look old, but most people know I’m in my 50s, and I highly doubt coloring my hair made them believe I was one bit younger. In fact, my white and silver garners more respect for me. Young people in particular open doors, offer assistance with packages, etc. The best part is I no longer have to spend three hours getting my hair done.

I don’t have a snappy comeback for the comments “Going Gray” is hearing. But she can say that going gray is actually “going green” because there are no noxious fumes entering the atmosphere and no chemicals being washed down the drain.

-- Cathy in Troy, Mich.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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