Dear Ann Landers: I’d like to share my story because I know a lot of people think of their lives the way I thought of mine.
Sometimes you feel lonely and unloved in a marriage - even after 23 years. You feel as if there’s got to be more to life, so you set out to find someone who can make you blissfully happy. You believe you have found that someone and decide he is exactly what you want. So you pack up and say goodbye to your 23-year marriage and all the friends you made when you were part of a couple. You give your children the option of coming with you or staying with their father.
You live the glorious life for a few years, and then, a light bulb goes on in your empty head. You realize that you have exactly the life you had before - the only difference is that you’ve lost your friends, your children’s respect and the best friend you loved and shared everything with for 23 years. And you miss him.
You realize that love doesn’t just happen, it must be nurtured through the years. You cannot undo what has been done, so you settle for a lonely and loveless life with emptiness in your heart.
Ann, please print my letter so others won’t give up something that is truly precious - and let them know that they won’t know how precious it is until they have thrown it away. - Heavy-Hearted in Philly
Dear Heavy-Hearted: Your letter is sure to make a great many readers take a second look at their marriages. Thank you for a well-timed slice of reality. You have done more good today than you will ever know.
Dear Ann Landers: I am about to get married in a Presbyterian church in Virginia. My fiance has shown an interest in taking my last name instead of my taking his because my name is much easier to spell and pronounce. Have you ever heard of this being done?
Are there any legal or religious ramifications? Can this be done during the marriage ceremony, or will we have to seek a lawyer’s assistance before we get married? Our 2-year-old son has my fiance’s last name now. I guess we’ll have to change his name, too. Right?
We asked the reverend who will marry us if this is possible, but he said he wasn’t sure because he had never heard of it before now. This is the second marriage for us both, and names don’t matter much so long as we are together as a family. - Bride-to-Be in Virginia
Dear Bride-to-Be: This is unusual but not unheard of. If your future husband wants to take your name instead of your taking his, he should see a lawyer to make certain it is done properly. In most states, there would be no problem as long as he doesn’t select an obscene name and there is no intent to defraud his creditors. (P.S.: Please encourage the guests to throw rose petals instead of rice. Rice is not good for the birds.)
Dear Ann Landers: After that letter from the deep-sea fisherman who wanted to know how to stop getting seasick, I’ll bet you’re going to get swamped with suggestions. Here is my guaranteed solution, which is fail-safe.
Put an aspirin in your belly button and a piece of adhesive over it. It may sound weird, but it really works. - Windsor, Canada
Dear Windsor: I received at least 50 letters from readers all over the world who suggested putting adhesive tape over the navel, but you were the only one who mentioned aspirin. Bayer will love you.