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Annie’s Mailbox

Prepare for a future without cheating mate

Q. I have been married to “Clifford’’ for 36 years. He recently told me he is in love with his secretary and wants to be with her. She is 23 and in the process of getting a divorce.

I know I can be difficult, but Clifford is not perfect, either. I love him and thought he felt the same. He spends all his time with his girlfriend, so I don’t have much of a chance of getting him back.

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We have two grown children who are totally disappointed in their father. Do I wait for him to decide? For how long?

CRUSHED HEART

A. See a lawyer immediately. Whatever Clifford decides, you must protect yourself financially. Make the necessary arrangements to manage on your own should that turn out to be the case. We also recommend you get some counseling to help you deal with the uncertainty of your situation and prepare for the possibility that your marriage is over. How long you are willing to stay in limbo is up to you, but don’t feel pressured to rush into anything. Clifford may ask for a divorce, he might return to you, or you could get tired of waiting and want out.

Q. My husband and I both work and make good incomes. He has two daughters, ages 16 and 19, and I have been their stepmom for 12 years. I love them dearly.

Last Christmas, each child received nearly $400 in cash gifts from the extended family. A week later, both girls saw jackets they wanted. I said we would pay half and they could use some of their Christmas money to contribute the other half. One chose to buy a $140 jacket. The other decided not to buy anything. I find that they are choosier when they chip in.

My husband was irked that I required them to pay half. He prefers that they have minimal financial pressure so they can concentrate all their time and effort on schoolwork and not worry about getting a job. What do you think?

STEPMOM

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A. We’ve got your back on this one. Asking them to help pay for nonessential luxury items, especially when they have plenty of cash to do so, teaches them something about financial responsibility and delayed gratification. Overindulgence may make the parents feel good, but it can hurt children in the long run.

Q. “Understands in Nebraska’’ was the most recent of several letters from women who have lost their desire for sex and can’t understand why their husbands still want intimacy. That was me a few years ago.

Then I found a wonderful ob-gyn who explained how hormones can become depleted after menopause. I had taken synthetic hormones but stopped due to health concerns. She said there are safer alternatives and suggested I try a low dose.

Not only did I have more energy, but my libido came back and sex was better than ever. I want these women to know they can feel healthy and energetic again. Bio-identical hormones and testosterone changed my life.

STILL FRISKY AT 60

A. Thanks for the testimonial. Readers should understand that bio-identical hormones are still hormones, and everyone reacts differently.

Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

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