Dear Annie: After 21 years of marriage, my husband was enticed by a divorced woman and engaged in an affair. She made it very easy for him and was constantly emailing, texting and calling. This woman knew me and my family, and that we were happy, but it didn't stop the homewrecker from pursuing my husband until he gave in. I realize he is just as guilty as she is, and could have said "no" at any time. But he realized what a huge mistake he made, and we decided to get counseling and salvage our marriage.
The problem is, the mistress rears her evil head with some drama that she must speak to him about. He has her numbers blocked, but she will call him at work or use another phone with a number that he doesn't recognize. Every time she gets ahold of him, it sets back our progress. She sends him cards and emails, and puts notes on his car because she is so "in love" with him. I have contacted her and told her to butt out of our marriage. She accused me of harassment and said she would call the police.
Our marriage is hanging by a thread, and this woman keeps showing up even though my husband has told her numerous times that it is over. She tore her own family apart a few years ago when she cheated with her fitness trainer and now she wants to do the same to ours. How can I get her to leave us alone? -- Frustrated Wife
Dear Wife: If your husband truly wants this woman to stop contacting him, he can arrange it. She is the one doing the harassing, not you. Nonetheless, you should not be responding to her at all. Cards from her should be unopened and marked "return to sender." If your husband accidentally picks up one of her phone calls, he should hang up immediately. Her emails should go directly into his spam folder. Notes on his car should be tossed into the garbage unread. He should not engage her in conversation of any kind because she interprets it as encouragement.
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If your husband needs an order of protection to keep this obsessive woman away, he should take steps to get one. As long as she thinks he is still susceptible, she will continue to pursue him. And if he refuses to do these things, his commitment to your marriage is not as strong as you believe.
Dear Annie: I can relate to the letter from "Struggling in New York," whose wife kept sabotaging her weight-loss efforts, gradually becoming less active in their lives. You said she sounded depressed.
I had the same problem with weight loss and relationships. My husband and I discussed it, and we thought I might have a self-destruct switch in my brain. It turned out I was deeply depressed. I went to a therapist and also had weight-loss surgery. It helped. I've lost nearly 200 pounds, and I have continued with my psychotherapy. It turns out I have many problems to deal with.
My life is better now. Medication and therapy are helping, and I talk to my husband regularly. There are still some problems, but all and all, things have improved. -- In His Name
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailboxcreators.com, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies.