Dear Amy: I’ve been married to my wife since 2003. In 2011, I found her texting and flirting with a friend of mine. We ultimately broke up. It was pretty much a mutual decision.
I met another woman who was everything I dreamed of. I moved toward divorcing my wife. I wanted to move on with my life. Tragically, three years after falling in love, my fiance died...right in front of me.
Well, it turns out, my wife never filed the divorce papers, so we are still married.
We have two sons (both born before the breakup). Concerned for the well-being of my sons, I worked things out with her, and we got back together.
Fast-forward to today. I feel like I’m serving a jail sentence with this person. My oldest son is on his way to the Marines, and my youngest is on his way to sixth grade.
I am married to a selfish, unemotional woman who doesn’t seem to have any love or compassion for me.
There is no communication, no intimacy, no anything!
I’ve got just over five years to go until my youngest will be 18. My plan is to move out the day after his birthday.
I’ve tried everything I can think of — from talking to her directly to even talking to her mother. I’m afraid she’s cheating again, but I have no proof. She just seems totally not interested in me at all. I love her, but my love is not reciprocated.
Should I ride this out until it goes down in flames — or stick to the plan of just staying under the radar until my son turns 18 and then leave and ghost her?
It feels like I’m just here to help with bills and kids. That’s it. — Lonely Man
Dear Lonely: You sound depressed and very sad. You say you are staying in this prison of a marriage for your sons’ sake — but you and your wife lived separately once before. Your previous breakup lasted for several years, and your sons were in the picture during that period.
My point is that when you were motivated to leave the marriage previously, you did — and you found love with someone else.
Many parents in empty marriages say they are staying together for the sake of their children, but children don’t necessarily benefit from living with two parents who don’t want to be together.
Your five-year plan sounds like a very tough haul. Sessions with a marriage counselor might not bring your wife back to you, but you two would at least have the opportunity to come up with a workable plan for either staying together, or parting peacefully.
Dear Amy: When I go to the grocery store, I notice other customers not wearing their masks correctly (not covering their noses). The cashiers are the same! This gives me anxiety.
I want to say, "Hey, you’re not wearing your mask right!" but I hate confrontation.
Also, they have markers on the floor to indicate where you should stand so you are six feet apart, but three times I have had someone stand way too close to me as I waited in line. It just freaks me out!
I let them get in front of me and I scoot back to six feet.
What is the best way to ask someone to back up?
I am just fearful someone will curse me out if I ask them to back up or to wear their mask correctly. — Anxious
Dear Anxious: In order to minimize your own risk/anxiety, you should make choices to shop at places where employees comply, and during times when there are the fewest other customers.
No — I don’t think you should call out another customer for wearing a mask incorrectly (because this involves them and their body), but yes — you should definitely ask someone to space themselves further from you (because this involves you and your body): "Hey, could you do me a favor and step back a little bit?"
Dear Amy: "Exasperated Mom" complained about not being able to get her teens to help around the house.
I come from a family of 12 kids. You can imagine the pile of shoes left around the living room.
One time my mom decided to put all the shoes in her and Dad’s bedroom, and we could redeem them for $.05 a pair. (It was a long time ago.) — Good Memories
Dear Memories: Looks like they really were "cheaper by the dozen!"