Unfaithful fathering unfounded?
Dear Annie: My husband has been dead for years. He was strong, handsome and successful, but not faithful. Women shamelessly threw themselves at him and he took advantage. He once had to send me to a doctor to be tested for STDs, and I was so angry and embarrassed that I decided the only way to keep the marriage intact for the children's sake would be to forget about romance and approach it like a business.
The problem is, one of his affairs may have produced a child. The woman was married at the time and still is. Her husband is considered the legal father, and for all I know, he may be the biological father. My husband and I never spoke about this baby boy, but everyone else did because we lived in a small town. I always told myself I would speak to the woman if I ran into her, but I have not, mainly to protect my children's inheritance.
But I worry that someday this information may have to be dealt with. Should I put a letter in with our family records to be discovered after my death? Or is this something I should take to my grave? —The Wife
Dear Wife: If there is a likelihood that your husband fathered a child by someone else, you should keep medical infor- mation available in case the child decides to search for his father. But it is unlikely that he would be entitled to an inheritance, especially if many years have passed and the money is gone.
Dear Annie: I'd like to vent about people who plan things at the last minute. My sister-in-law has the rude habit of "planning" parties on a minute's notice. She has five children, and I'd love to attend their birthday parties if I had more than four hours' notice. Her excuse is that they are so active in sports and can't plan ahead because games run over or they didn't expect to "still be in the playoffs." She has even scheduled parties on short notice and then texted to cancel them.
The most absurd example was her husband's 40th birthday, again planned with a few hours' notice. And all of these invitations come via text message. If my phone is charging, or I left it in my car, I will never see the invitation until the party is over.
I have become so fatigued at her last-minute invites that I have stopped making any effort to attend. Why should my children and I be expected to drop our plans to appease her? I don't know what to say to her kids when they ask why I wasn't at their party. Any suggestions? — Any Minute Auntie
Dear Annie: Your sister-in-law is either disorganized or enjoying a power trip. We'd give her the benefit of the doubt. Trying to arrange parties when you have five children in sporting activities is difficult. She could plan for overtime games by scheduling the party later in the day, but she seems too frazzled to think that far ahead. Nonetheless, you are not obligated to attend any party planned on such short notice and subject to cancellation. If you want to let the kids know that you care, we recommend getting them a birthday gift and dropping it off at another time.
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