Dear Annie: Our children gave my husband and me a surprise anniversary party. They invited friends we had not seen in many years, including "Frank and Mary."
Frank and I were always good friends. We even had a minor crush on each other, although neither of us did anything about it. After the party, Frank and I exchanged e-mail addresses and cell phone numbers and have kept in touch. I have not mentioned this to my husband because he tends to be quite jealous and I didn't want him to overreact.
Here's the problem, Annie: Frank has asked me on a lunch date, saying it would be nice for us to get together and talk about old times. I think it would be OK. I don't intend to do it a second time, and we're not meeting where we could be seen by someone who knows us. We're sure our spouses will never find out.
I know my husband would not approve of this, and to be perfectly honest, if the situation were reversed, I would be furious. I feel flattered that Frank has asked me. I don't think it will do any harm, and I have no intention of letting it escalate.
Does this seem sneaky? I see it as quite innocent. I love my husband and don't intend to jeopardize our marriage. The last thing I want to do is hurt him or ruin the trust he has had in me all these years. Am I acting like an infatuated teenager?
— Mixed Emotions
Dear Mixed: Yes. You admit that you would be furious if your husband did the same thing. No matter how innocent, it would undermine your trust, and you would never be sure he wasn't interested in an affair. Be honest with yourself. You and Frank are flirting. We know it's exciting, but you also are vulnerable to his attention, and there are no guarantees your husband won't find out. The correspondence is enough of a risk, and if this were truly innocent, your spouses would know about it. You are asking for trouble with a capital T.
Dear Annie: When families of a deceased person request that in lieu of flowers a contribution be made to a specific charity, the charity usually sends a notification of the contribution to the family and an acknowledgement to the donor.
Should the family of the deceased also send a thank-you note to the donor? I was brought up to do so, but I seldom receive any acknowledgement of my donations from the family.
Dear Jay: Yes, the family should also acknowledge any kindness, including a donation. We are pleased that you do so, but not everyone is aware of this obligation.
Dear Annie: I had to add my two cents to the responses to "Crowded by the Ex," who resented her husband's ex-wife.
My parents divorced when my sister and I were toddlers. Both of them married others. My mother and stepfather made a loving home for us. They took us to Chicago to see shows, museums, etc. They also took us to see our dad on the weekends. At Dad's, we played in the park, rode bikes, tossed a football, saw a Cubs game and more. Dad was always welcome at our house for birthdays and holidays, and my mother and stepfather were welcome in his. Mom and I have spent Thanksgiving with my father and stepmother, and Dad and his wife have spent Christmas at Mom's house. I had two dads for Father's Day and two moms for Mother's Day.
When my stepfather passed away, my stepmother and Dad were the first to give their condolences. People can get along after a divorce. There does not have to be bitterness and anger.
— A Lucky Girl in the Midwest
Dear Lucky: Your parents were wise enough to put their children first. We wish all divorced parents did the same.
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