Annie’s Mailbox for Jan. 19, 2011: Distrustful of defensive wife |

Annie’s Mailbox for Jan. 19, 2011: Distrustful of defensive wife

Dear Annie: I am a 36-year-old husband and father, married for four years. Two years ago, I caught my wife cheating on me.

I was willing to forgive her for the sake of our children. But lately, our marriage seems to have fallen into that dark alley again. My wife is always on Facebook or buried in her cell phone, texting. She won’t tell me with whom. Every time I dare peek at what she is doing, she goes immediately on the defensive.

I confronted her about how shady she has been, and she assures me it’s nothing to be concerned about. Well, time, aggravation and arguments have turned me into someone I don’t like. I logged into her Facebook account and checked out her private messages. I discovered she’s been talking to some guy behind my back. It’s not an affair, but there is definite flirting.

I haven’t told her what I know. Should I? Was I wrong to snoop? Help.

— Distrustful

Dear Distrustful: Although we don’t recommend snooping, it is understandable when your wife has given you reason to suspect her and has a history to back it up. Tell her what you found, and apologize for going behind her back. When someone has had an affair, that person needs to be completely transparent in every aspect of the relationship, or trust cannot be regained. Your wife is putting your marriage at risk by being dishonest about her contact with other men. Insist that she accompany you for counseling, and see if you can work on this together.

Dear Annie: My husband and I have large breed dogs. Four of them are well behaved and nice to be around. The fifth is a nightmare. “Buddy” constantly attacks our other dogs and has caused minor injuries.

I have spoken to three different trainers and have tried everything. I want to have Buddy relocated to another home. He is not a bad dog. He just does not fit into our pack. My husband has only recently decided to take this seriously and is now determined to keep this dog. But last night, Buddy attacked our St. Bernard, and in the process, I was knocked over and bitten. I’m done.

We are expecting our first child soon, and Buddy is clearly a risk. How do I convince my husband of this without getting divorced?

— Illinois

Dear Illinois: Even well-behaved dogs can develop jealousy toward a new baby. Although Buddy may be trainable, it’s unlikely you will accomplish that before the baby arrives, and your child’s safety must come first. Your husband is doing Buddy no favors by insisting he fit in with your family when he might do better and be happier elsewhere. Don’t wait for a tragedy. Please relocate Buddy immediately.

Dear Annie: I was amazed to see the letter from “Daughter-in-Law in Hawaii,” whose mother-in-law smells like mothballs.

A few years back, my sisters and I noticed that my mother reeked of mothballs. When we told her to take the coat to the cleaners, she was shocked. She said she thought the smell of mothballs showed people you were well off enough to be able to take care of your woolens. She told us she always stuck a few mothballs in her pockets in winter so she could be proud of her clean scent. When we explained that this was not the case, she was so glad we told her.

Soon after I married, I noticed that my mother-in-law had a strong underarm odor. I begged my husband to tell her, but he wouldn’t. When she later got a part-time job, her boss took her aside. She called me, crying, and demanded to know why we hadn’t said anything. It took a long time for her to forgive us for failing her. People should be told the truth before they are embarrassed and humiliated in public.

— California

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