His wife is caught up in Web of deceit
Dear Annie: I am experiencing firsthand how damaging certain social networking Web sites can be. My wife and I have been married for 18 years. Six months ago, I found out she was having inappropriate contact with a man through one of these Web sites. Since then, there have been several other men, and she has been communicating with the latest one for nearly three months.
When I approached her about what was going on, I was accused of spying and invading her privacy, both of which are true. Since I found out what she is doing, it has become all-consuming. I have developed insecurities I didn’t have before.
We have three children whom I love dearly. I want to keep our family intact, but my world has been shattered. The girl I loved has turned into someone I do not know. I am willing to go for counseling, but she is not.
What help is there for me? Crash the Internet
Dear Crash: Your wife is living a fantasy over the computer, and she doesn’t want to let it go. She hasn’t quite grasped what she risks losing in the process — her marriage, her husband, her children and her self-respect. Go for counseling without her. It will help you decide what your next step will be and how to protect your children. You cannot force your wife to face reality, but it certainly sounds like she could use a major wake-up call.
Dear Annie: I am 35 years old and single. My mother passed away a year ago, and I am not in contact with my father. I don’t have a lot of family. My older sister lives in another state with my teenage niece. I do not have a will because there’s no real property or valuables to speak of. I have a $50,000 life insurance policy, and my niece and a close friend are the beneficiaries.
If something were to happen to me, who would take care of my burial arrangements and memorial service? Do I create a will for this purpose only and designate my friend to use his share of the life insurance policy to pay for my burial expenses? Or do I designate a mortuary as the beneficiary?
I am sure I cannot be the only young person wondering what happens to me after I am gone. I know my sister and niece cannot afford to take care of these expenses, nor do I want them to. Still Single in California
Dear California: Putting funeral instructions in the will is pointless. By the time your will is read, it will be too late. Instead, consider a prepaid funeral where you select and pay for the arrangements in advance. (Make sure you use a reputable funeral home and keep copies of your receipts and contracts.)
Put your wishes for a memorial service in writing, and give copies to your attorney, your friend and your sister, along with the details of the prepaid funeral arrangements. Rest easy.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “30-year Alcoholic,” who can’t seem to stay sober. I, too, had a problem with alcohol. I cleaned up my act briefly when I was pregnant, but shortly after, I wanted to drink again. I also suffered from postpartum depression.
At the time, I had no insurance, so I went to a local counseling center, where my care was based on my income. The doctor prescribed medication to get me through the postpartum depression. It helped me so much that I started seeing a therapist.
She told me alcohol was masking my anxiety and depression.
Further therapy uncovered adult ADHD. The therapist put me on an antidepressant and a nonstimulant ADHD medication. I no longer have the desire to drink at all. You gave her great advice. I hope this letter gives her hope. 10-Year Alcoholic
Dear Alcoholic: Thanks so much for sharing your story. You can be sure it will help many others.
• E-mail your questions to email@example.com or write to: Annie’s Mailbox‚Ñ¢, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.