Annie’s Mailbox for June 16, 2011: Ex-girlfriend still controlling boyfriend
Dear Annie: I have known “Tony” for 17 years, and we’ve dated for the past seven. He has one ex-girlfriend who has remained in his life. When “Mara” became pregnant (by another man), she asked Tony to be the godfather. At first he told her no, because he thought it would make me uncomfortable (you think?), but after she pleaded with him that there was no one else, he agreed to do it. He told me he was only doing a favor for her and it didn’t mean he would be involved in the child’s life.
I accepted the situation as best I could. Since then, we have all been together a couple of times, and Mara is so self-absorbed, it makes me uncomfortable. She never includes me in the conversation.
A year ago, Mara called about getting together so Tony could see his godchild. I was going to be out of town that weekend, so Tony turned her down. But that same weekend, she somehow arranged some kind of drama and called Tony to come over and help her out. She knows how to manipulate and play the helpless female. Fortunately, nothing happened because Tony didn’t fall for it.
The problem is, when Tony told me about that weekend, it made me wonder about Mara’s true motive. However, whenever I mention to Tony that she might be too interested, he gets angry and defends her every time. He insists that Mara has no desire to be with him again, and I believe that’s true, but it seems she still wants to exert control over him.
Annie, please tell me if I am overreacting. I think exes should stay in our memories, not be part of our future.
— Insecure in Seaside
Dear Seaside: In many instances, being a godfather is a serious religious responsibility. If Tony isn’t interested in a relationship with his godchild, he should bow out and ask Mara to find someone else. But if he continues in this role, it will necessitate ongoing, regular contact with Mara. It doesn’t matter whether she is trying to exert control. It only matters that you trust Tony.
Dear Annie: For the past 10 years, my friend “Ted” has sent out an e-mail blast asking people to support a fundraising “walk” for a good cause. My husband and I have always given a donation, as we believe in the cause and also want to support a good friend. However, Ted has never once acknowledged our giving on his behalf.
Over the years, our charitable giving has become more focused, and we no longer will be donating to Ted’s fundraiser. Should I have sent him a letter directly, telling him the primary reason was because he never said “thank you”? It’s true, but it makes me feel petty.
— Even Fundraisers Should Say Thank You
Dear Even: The charity should have acknowledged your donation. As a friend, Ted also should have thanked you, especially since you came through for him year after year. You are not obligated to volunteer the information about why you have dropped this particular charity, but if Ted should ask, it is OK to include the fact that your donations didn’t seem particularly appreciated.
Dear Annie: “Tired of it All” said her husband developed erectile dysfunction and stopped wanting sex. Another reader said the reason her husband stopped wanting sex was because he was gay. Here is another one:
My husband, a fit man of 55, experienced erectile dysfunction for years. Doctors were quick to prescribe pills to make everything better. Instead, we chose to find out why he was having problems. It turned out that his erectile dysfunction led us to discover the tumor at the base of his spine.
Most men simply would not know how to deal with such a sensitive sexual problem without compassion, guidance and understanding.
— Working Through it Together
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