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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Annie’s Mailbox: No reason for husband to change

Kathy Mitchell/Marcy Sugar Kathy Mitchell

Dear Annie: Thirty years ago, my husband had a long-term affair. At the time, he was 30, and she was 16. He planned to leave me, and our two young children, but he changed his mind and supposedly broke off the affair. Last year, I found out he had a daughter with this woman. The girl is now 17.

Four months ago, I came home from a short trip to discover he had moved out because he wants to spend more time with his daughter. I told him I would welcome the girl into our family, but he said he no longer wants to be married. He refuses to let me meet his daughter, who now lives with him in his newly renovated home. Our own children want nothing to do with him, and he doesn’t understand why.

He still stops by for breakfast and coffee most mornings and often comes over for lunch or in the evening to visit. Do you think he will eventually come back to me, or should I tell him to get lost so I can move on with my life? – Frazzled

Dear Frazzled: Your husband has a set-up that works for him – free meals and visits with his wife, and none of the responsibilities. He has no reason to change it.

You cannot make him behave the way you wish, so if this arrangement works for you, fine. Otherwise, we recommend a legal separation until you figure out what is in your best interest. You don’t have to rush into divorce. One step at a time.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, in care of Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.