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Annie’s Mailbox: Caring for ill ex odd expectation

Dear Annie: My wife recently found out through a friend that her ex-husband remarried and didn’t tell her. I commented that I didn’t see anything wrong with that, and she was shocked at my response. She told me that if we divorced after 25 years, she would expect me to tell her if I got married again and she would do the same. She also said if we divorced and one of us were dying of some incurable disease, she would expect me to drop everything and take care of her, because she would do the same for me.

I told her that would depend on whether or not we were on speaking terms, but she said it is the least she would expect of me. Now she calls me a scumbag (jokingly, I hope). Am I missing something here? – Scumbag

Dear Scumbag: It is a courtesy to inform an ex-spouse of a major change in one’s life, but it is not a necessity unless they have children together. As for taking care of a sick or injured ex-spouse, it would depend entirely on whether the relationship is friendly, whether anyone else can care for the person and whether the healthy ex has remarried. It is most certainly not expected. We are going to assume your wife is simply a caring, compassionate woman, but ask her how she would feel if you rushed to the aid of an ex-wife (not her) who needed your ongoing care.

Dear Annie: I think you missed another option in your response to “Solicitous Spouse,” whose wife has chosen her daughter’s blind, incontinent dog over him.

My wife and I have been married for more than 40 years and are now on our fifth dog. We’ve loved our pets as much as our children, and have spent hundreds of dollars to keep them going as long as possible.

However, in each case, there came a time when the dog had no more quality of life, and we reluctantly made the decision that it was time for the dog to be put down. This may be what needs to be done in this case. – J.