Dear Annie: The real man comes out after marriage
Dear Annie: I have been married for one year to a classmate whom I reconnected with at our 50th high school class reunion. While he was courting me, he seemed perfect. He spent money on me, bought loving cards, bought flowers, took me to restaurants and fancy hotels. You get the picture. He continued to court me until I agreed to marry him. It wasn’t too long after we married that I noticed him getting up in the night to watch TV. When I would enter the room, he would switch channels. I got wise and started checking the “recently viewed” section and saw that he’s watching porn. I called him out on it, but he doesn’t seem to think it’s any big thing. I think it is horrible, and I was raised to think it is sinful. I’m hurt, but what am I to do?
He also started buying me airplane tickets to go visit my elderly mother, saying he wishes he had visited with his own mom more while she was alive. But I got wise again and shared his phone location with mine and saw that as soon as he dropped me off at the airport, he drove straight to a strip club, where he spent several hours. When I returned home and asked him about the most recent time he had gone to a strip club, he got defensive and wondered why I would bring that up. I told him I was curious, and he then lied to me and told me it was in the 1980s.
Next, I found out that he had sneaked money out of our safe while I was gone. When I asked him about it, he lied again and said he hadn’t. When I told him I had counted the money and some was gone, he got very defensive and said he had just wanted money to spend while I was gone and hadn’t wanted to keep receipts so I wouldn’t know where he had spent money. This guy is very tight with his money now that we are married. He writes down every penny I spend. I have to give him all my receipts. On our anniversary, he gave me a used card. No more fancy cards or flowery words, nothing.
I am hurt and wonder what I should do. Do you have any suggestions for me? — In a Quandary
Dear In a Quandary: This man worked some mean magic — projecting the image of a charming, thoughtful, affectionate partner and marrying you before you had the chance to realize that was a mirage. This is just year one; who knows what other sordid tricks he’s got up his sleeve? The surest way out of this quandary is to get out of this marriage. If you want to try to make it work, you two will need couples counseling, and he needs to be willing to seek help for what seems to be a sex addiction. You might benefit from going to a meeting of S-Anon, for the friends and family of people with sex addictions (https://www.sanon.org).
“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now. Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Go to /www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com.