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Stop Fretting; He Chose You

Dear Ann Landers: I have a problem that I’m afraid will ruin my marriage if I am unable to resolve it. I recently got married. I was a virgin, and my husband was not. I learned this shortly after we started to date and was devastated. They say your first is the one you will always remember. I feel that because I was not his first, it didn’t mean as much to him.

I know he loves me a lot, but I just can’t get past the hurt that there were others before me. I also wonder if he is comparing me with his previous bed partners who were much more experienced. Sometimes, I wish I hadn’t waited to have sex until I married. We would then have been “even.”

Please tell me how to stop the pain, Ann. I often wonder if men who marry virgins compare their performances with the more experienced women they have slept with. I want to be the only one in my husband’s thoughts when we are making love, but I’m afraid this is impossible now. Please help me sort this out. - Second Place in Buffalo

Dear Buffalo: You can’t saw sawdust. Torturing yourself about the women your husband slept with before he met you is a waste of time and accomplishes nothing. If you are nagging your husband for details of his past bed partners, I hope you will stop.

The only thing that matters is that he married you and not one of the others. If you continue to obsess about this problem, please consider counseling. It could help.

Dear Ann Landers: My new husband and I lived overseas and have recently returned to the States. Several years before I him, “Claude” had gone through a difficult divorce and received a lot of support from a woman with whom he worked. “Thelma” is also divorced, but she is old enough to be Claude’s mother - no romance there. She has no children of her own and considers Claude a son.

All three of us are now living in the same city. The problem is that my kind-hearted husband feels deeply indebted to Thelma, and she is manipulating him to the max. She telephones him several times a day, both at work and at home. She has managed to invade our social life and wants to go everywhere with us. When we are together, the woman acts totally helpless, and Claude indulges her completely.

I mentioned this to Claude recently, and he became defensive and went into great detail about how much he owes Thelma. It has gotten so the mere mention of her name sends shivers down my spine. I am not asking that we drop this woman completely, Ann. I just want to achieve a happy medium. Do you have any suggestions? - Three Is a Crowd in California

Dear California: Apparently, you and Claude have provided this woman with a complete social life. Can you fix Thelma up with an older bachelor, a widower or an amusing friend? Please consider it.

Meanwhile, it seems to me that Claude has paid his dues. He does not owe Thelma inclusion for the rest of her life. It’s time he put you first, and you can tell him I said so.

Dear Ann Landers: My wife always calls me on my cellular phone when I am on a busy highway going home. She doesn’t believe me when I tell her it’s dangerous. Maybe she’ll believe you. Tell her, please. - R.A. in N.Y.C.

Dear N.Y.C.: Cell phones can be a godsend in emergencies, but they should not be used for chitchat. First, a driver needs to focus on driving at all times. Second, cell-phone conversations can be picked up by others. Beware.

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