February 6, 2012 in Features

Annie’s Mailbox: In divorce, take the high road

Kathy Mitchell/Marcy Sugar Kathy Mitchell

Dear Annie: I have been married nearly 30 years to someone who is a self-centered, selfish, immature mama’s boy. Mama is so controlling, and yet so needy, that every time we’ve moved, she’s moved nearby. She has switched to the same doctor and even goes to the same hair salon her “baby” uses. She gets to know the employees at these places and then interrogates them and blabs our business to everyone.

My husband has had several affairs over the years, and Mama has met every one of these women. Most of these affairs begin as a way to get these women to buy him items we cannot afford, such as cameras and computers. He gives them my old jewelry, thinking I won’t notice. As soon as he gets what he wants, he dumps them.

My husband tells everyone we are in debt because I don’t know how to handle money. The truth is, I am very frugal, but am unable to keep up with all the debt he has accumulated through his Internet spending. I’ve been on the receiving end of STDs three times. My mother-in-law is happy to be involved in all his little schemes.

I recently joined a support group and have gathered the courage to file for divorce. My question is: Do I tell my grown children and family the truth? I’ve been too humiliated to admit any of this and don’t want to deal with a lot of questions and drama now. – Without Common Sense, You Ain’t Got Nothin’

Dear Without: Your grown children are probably more aware of what’s been going on than you think. But they still love their father and don’t want to be stuck in the middle of feuding parents. It is OK to correct misimpressions or lies that Mama or your soon-to-be-ex may circulate about you. But otherwise, please take the high road. Simply say the divorce has been percolating for a long time, and you feel it’s the best decision for everyone.

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