Dear Annie: I had this vague feeling something was wrong with my marriage so I decided to look at my husband's cell phone call log. Imagine my surprise to discover a text message from a woman. Her number showed up in three months' worth of phone bills.
I showed him what I found and we talked most of the night. My husband agreed to let "Lena" know the relationship was over and said he would have no more contact with her. I believed him.
Ten days later, after having been told we had no money for Valentine's gifts, I found a receipt for a $500 diamond bracelet. When I confronted my husband, he said he felt sorry for Lena because she didn't have any jewelry. He told me he would not see her again and would let the jeweler call Lena to pick up the bracelet.
Two weeks after that, I discovered him holding hands with Lena at a local restaurant. Apparently, he decided to pick up the bracelet and deliver it in person. I confronted them, and they assured me it was just friendship.
I am so devastated, it physically hurts. I love my husband with all my heart, and he claims he loves only me. I want so much to have faith in him. Do we have a shot at building back the trust in this 13-year marriage?Kentucky Girl
Dear Kentucky Girl: You can rebuild trust, but only if your husband behaves in a manner that is completely above-board. He must stop seeing Lena, and that means no friendly lunches, no gifts of any kind, no phone calls, nothing. She doesn't own any jewelry? Give us a break. Tell him as a condition of staying in the marriage, he must go with you for counseling no excuses will be accepted.
Dear Annie: I have been separated from my husband for two years. There are six nieces and nephews on my husband's side, ages 8 to 17. I've known these children all their lives and consider them family. For their birthdays and Christmas, I always send them cards and gifts.
My mother and sister think I should not buy them gifts anymore, as they are no longer "my family." Am I wrong to still consider these kids my nieces and nephews? What do other people do?
Regardless of what you say, I will continue to do this because I want to, not because I have to.CanadaDear Canada: Good for you. If you are close to these children and consider them to be your nieces and nephews, then that is the relationship and you should honor it. It's no one else's business.