Dou­ble stan­dard is un­fair

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - WEEKEND - An­nie’s Mail­box is writ­ten by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, long­time edi­tors of the Ann Lan­ders col­umn.

Dear An­nie: I have been in a re­la­tion­ship with “John” for more than 12 years. We have sep­a­rate homes. He has never been mar­ried and has no chil­dren. I have been mar­ried twice and have five grown kids.

John still has his ex-girl­friends in his life. He used to have them clean his house, which he said was “none of my busi­ness.” He would meet them af­ter work for a beer. He would dog-sit for one of their sons and then would vol­un­teer to take the dogs back to their house in an­other town with­out me around. He still works on their ve­hi­cles. And one comes to his coun­try home to get veg­eta­bles from his gar­den.

Although it both­ers me, I never said any­thing to John about any of this. How­ever, last Christ­mas, my son asked for per­mis­sion to in­vite my ex-hus­band to the din­ner to which John and my en­tire ex­tended fam­ily were also in­vited. Since John had been to other cel­e­bra­tions that in­cluded my ex, I didn’t think there would be any prob­lem, but I was wrong.

John was very up­set. I then coun­tered with all of the times he’d spent time with his exes. I ex­plained that my chil­dren’s fa­thers will al­ways be in my life, although I don’t have contact with them un­less it in­volves the chil­dren. John says my chil­dren are adults, and I no longer need to have any contact with my exes even at fam­ily gath­er­ings.

I say he has no busi­ness al­low­ing his ex-girl­friend to come to his coun­try home for any rea­son, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing they do not have kids to­gether. He doesn’t get my point, and I don’t get his. What is your take on this sit­u­a­tion? Dee Dear Dee: We think John wants to be able to have contact with whomever he chooses, but he doesn’t want you to have the same pre­rog­a­tive. This is un­fair. More im­por­tantly, once you have chil­dren, there will al­ways be oc­ca­sions when contact is nec­es­sary: wed­dings, fu­ner­als, birth­day par­ties, even the oc­ca­sional fam­ily Christ­mas din­ner.

Your chil­dren are part of your life, and John needs to ac­cept that some­times the ex-hus­bands will be in­cluded. If all contact is above board and trans­par­ent, there should be no rea­son for jeal­ousy and un­nec­es­sary re­stric­tions.

Dear An­nie: My hus­band and I can­not un­der­stand why peo­ple in church, mostly elderly ladies, want to kiss us on the mouth as a greet­ing. Frankly, the only per­son I want to kiss on the mouth is my hus­band. These are ac­quain­tances we run into two or three times a month.

We’ve been han­dling it by turn­ing our faces, but they plant a wet one on our cheeks. We want to wipe it off, ex­cept that would be rude. Is there any other way to han­dle this awk­ward sit­u­a­tion? Turn­ing the Other Cheek in El Paso Dear El Paso: Some peo­ple be­come sen­ti­men­tal and af­fec­tion­ate with age and are demon­stra­tive with ev­ery­one. We un­der­stand your an­noy­ance, but there are worse things than be­ing given a sloppy kiss on the cheek. You could try to head them off by ex­tend­ing your hand to shake in­stead, say­ing nicely that you pre­fer not to be kissed, but there are no guar­an­tees it will work. Dear An­nie: You printed a let­ter from “Re­jected,” who was ter­ri­bly de­pressed about his wife’s lack of in­ter­est in in­ti­macy. I could have been that dis­in­ter­ested woman, but I also could have been that de­pressed man. I found out that my vitamin D lev­els were half what they should be, and I be­gan tak­ing sup­ple­ments. Af­ter a cou­ple of months, it made a huge dif­fer­ence in my en­ergy lev­els. Feel­ing Bet­ter

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