Un­faith­ful fathering un­founded?

Cape Breton Post - - IN MEMORIAM/ADVICE - Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar

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.

An­nie's Mail­box is writ­ten by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, long­time ed­i­tors of the Ann Lan­ders col­umn. Please email your ques­tions to an­nies­mail­box@cre­ators.com, or write to: An­nie's Mail­box, c/o Cre­ators Syn­di­cate, 737 3rd Street, Her­mosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find An­nie on Face­book at Face­book.com/AskAn­nies. Visit the Cre­ators Syn­di­cate Web page at www.cre­ators.com. COPY­RIGHT 2015 CRE­ATORS.COM

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