Infidelity letters struck a cord

Dear Annie: I read your column recently about the two gentlemen who each were married for a long time but found out their wives had had affairs after they passed away. This struck me because at times, I feel as if this could be me.

I know it’s probably a confidence issue on my part. I often think, “Why did my wife pick me? Am I enough?” I’ve brought this up to my wife before, and of course she was hurt that I would even think that she would have an affair.

Recently, I found out that she was sending another man nude pictures of herself. That hurt me beyond belief. It was a longtime gentleman friend. I say “gentleman,” but he’s not really. I feel that any respectable man who found out that a woman who is doing this is married would put a stop to it.

Her reason for sending the photos was that he would send her money and she felt that the only way to get the money was to do that.

I’m having a hard time dealing with this. I’ve been thinking of divorce. I just don’t know whether I can be happy and deal with the issue at hand. I want to work things out, but whenever I bring something up, she says it comes across as an attack on her. She thinks everything is OK when it isn’t. We’ve always wanted to go to counseling for couples because it has always seemed like a good idea. However, with kids and all, it’s hard to even sit down, let alone find the time to go.

I feel so alone in the marriage. I know I’m not; I know she loves me, even if she doesn’t say it. Our sex life isn’t what it used to be, and again, the kids — especially the 1-year-old — put a lot of strain on that side of the relationship.

I know we have a lot of work to do in our relationship. Not to mention, I’m getting depressed again, so I have that to work on. The job I have, for which I’m away for 24-hour periods, doesn’t help. It leaves way too much time to myself to think and wonder.

I’ve tried therapy, but I’m not crazy about it. Really, I just want my wife to understand what I’m going through. I will try to keep talking to her and hope that soon we’ll get the professional help we need. — Lonely

Dear Lonely: What you put in is what you get out. I’m not blaming you for your wife’s infidelity (and yes, I would consider her sending R-rated photos to a male friend to be infidelity), but I am challenging you to take radical action to save your marriage. That means working on yourself and your self-esteem. If you don’t feel worthy of love, you’re preventing others from loving you.

It also means getting into marriage counseling ASAP. Make an appointment today. You’ve both expressed an interest in going. There’s nothing stopping you.

Dear Annie: This is a driving tip for people with road rage: Listen to audiobooks — even on short trips, such as to the grocery. It makes waiting at lights, in traffic jams and on the highway much more pleasant, and it makes it easier to forgive the other driver. — Rage-Free

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Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.