Dear Ann Landers: Three years ago, my wife decided to have an affair with a co-worker. It not only ended our marriage, but it ruined the dream of sharing our lives together with financial security. The fallout from this experience shook me to the core, and although time has eased the pain, I still have significant problems when it comes to trusting women.
Please tell your readers who may be considering an extramarital affair to understand the reality of their actions. Because of a few passionate hours, your family will never be the same. You will bring dishonor and pain to your spouse, your children, your parents and yourself. You may contract a venereal disease, which you could pass on to your spouse. Your children will suffer from the fighting, yelling and devastation that follows the discovery of an affair. The money you worked so hard to save for your children's education will be lost to legal fees and the cost of supporting two households.
In short, you will seriously traumatize those you profess to love the most, and you will do it for fleeting, selfish reasons. If your marriage isn't working, for the sake of all concerned, please get help. If the marriage cannot be saved, end it in a manner that shows respect and dignity.
-- Recovering in Washington, D.C.
Dear Recovering: You certainly sound like the Voice of Experience. Thank you for sitting in my chair today. I could not have done nearly as well. And now, I hope your failed marriage will not sour you on all women. There are many out there who also have encountered some bumps in the road and would appreciate a good man like you. Seek and you will find.
Trash and treasures
Dear Ann Landers: I loved the letters responding to "Aunt Vera" and all the unusual but cherished items left behind by loved ones. After my grandmother died, my parents sorted through the stuff nobody wanted. Grandma used to make dolls and doll clothing, and had a room full of tiny boxes with threads and trinkets. My mother was tempted to throw the whole mess out, but decided to open the little boxes and reminisce about the items inside. In the process, she came across my grandparents' wedding rings.
Mom was so grateful that she didn't toss all that stuff out. You never know what you'll find and where. Get the word out!
-- Glendora, Calif.
Dear Glendora: How right you are. In your case, you salvaged some priceless family heirlooms. One reader told me she found genuine pearls in a box with old junk jewelry. Ask any antique dealer how many times items that were considered "worthless" turned out to be extremely valuable.
After printing the letter about "Aunt Vera," I heard from hundreds of readers who made it clear that what may be viewed as "junk" by one generation is treasured 40 years later. I'd give anything to have that old brass samovar that belonged to my grandparents. They brought it to America from Russia. I foolishly gave it to a charity to be auctioned off 30 years ago. How dumb of me!
Dear Readers: This was my Laugh for the Day. Maybe it will be yours. It came from a reader in Batavia, Ill.:
A man spoke frantically on the phone, clearly in a state of panic. "My wife is pregnant, and her contractions are only two minutes apart." The doctor asked, "Is this her first child?" The reply: "No, you idiot. This is her husband."
Problems? Dump on Ann. Write her at The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, N.Y. 14240.