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Ask Mindy: Wedding Bell Blues

Wednesday, January 31, 2018



Readers, welcome back to the world of Mindy Morals, the spiritual gangster from Truth or Consequences, New Mexico with the answers to all your questions. What’s got three legs, four heads and two mouths? I don’t know, but Mindy could probably help it with any moral dilemma. This week, Mindy answers your questions about weddings and marriage.


 


Dear Mindy,


I think my husband is cheating on me. I don’t have any proof, but his behavior has become foreign to me and his caress has grown cold.


Perhaps I should begin at the beginning. Our relationship was always founded on a certain level of inequality. My husband is older than me, wealthy as sin and—shallow as it may sound—fairly unattractive. I’m his opposite, in many ways; I come modest means, I am still quite young, and I’ve always been praised for my beauty. I say this not to put on airs, just to admit an unfortunate fact, one never stated but always present throughout our coupling.


When I first started dating my husband, I found this imbalance appealing—empowering, even. My husband knew that I had my pick of any rich man. But him? He could only dream of finding somebody with my beauty and charm. Rather than some rich man’s trophy wife, I was his possessor, his dominator, his captor—my whims, it was always made clear, were the ones that would be indulged and granted, not his. I was his last tie to youth—and it was a connection he knew that I could sever at any moment.


Don’t misunderstand me, Mindy—I found other things to appreciate in him. His unwavering confidence, his business acumen, his profligacy. It’s so rare to find a man who really knows how to spend his money!


But then, all of a sudden, he turned away. He owns—and it’s he alone who owns these things, always, even if we are now man and wife—a large country estate, in southern Florida. I’d been once or twice with him, before our marriage, but it has largely remained his own personal retreat, a hermitage for solace and meditation. I had always accepted that, but now he seems to go every weekend, and an invitation is never extended to me.


While I have no proof of an affair, all my suspicions are starting to add up. Just the other day, I overheard him on the phone, bragging about “tail” to one of his golf buddies. It could have been an innocent coincidence, but I can’t imagine him talking about me that way. Not now.


But the infidelity I could probably manage. Worst of all have been the rumors, the whispers when I’m out with my husband. It seems I cannot go a day without some other woman’s subtle abuse, without some comment about how “forgiving” I must be. And I know its subtext: you deserve this, you’re beneath him, you never really loved him. And there was love, Mindy, if only for a brief while.


What do I do, Mindy? Do I divorce my passionless, unfaithful husband? I just recently gave birth, which makes this an especially fraught situation. I’m worried he’d hire an army of lawyers to get full custody of our child. Is there an answer here?


 


Sincerely,


Melancholy


 


Dear Melancholy,


It’s hard to confront an unfaithful partner. Not many people know this, but before I met Mr. Morals, I was in a serious relationship with somebody else. Call him Bobby Bad, because he was trouble. Anyway, one day I found Bobby in bed with another woman. “Bobby!” I said, “How can you do this to me? I fed your iguana when you were in Acapulco!” But he didn’t care how I felt. “You don’t like it, don’t stay,” he said, as he took a drag from his cigarillo. I did stay, for another three years. People talked—they called me weak, delusional and worse things that can’t even be printed in a family magazine like this. But it was my choice.


What I’m trying to say, Melancholy, is that you shouldn’t let anybody else’s comments affect you. In a situation like this, confronting a partner is never easy, and there’s no right way, or right time-frame to do it.


But I think there’s something even more pressing than the infidelity here, Melancholy. I think your relationship has been in trouble for a long, long time. Although love’s initial stages can feel eternal, they can often blind us to the reality of our partnerships. Listening to the way your marriage began, I’m not sure whether you and your husband ever had enough in common, or enough of a mutual respect, to make any long-term commitment work. Have the two of you ever discussed your future? Or what you both want out of your relationship? I can’t tell you whether or not your husband is a philanderer. But I can promise you that if unless you have a serious conversation about your marriage, it doesn’t even matter.


 


Dear Mindy,


Help! I’m dealing with a real monster-in-law! Yes, just like in that 2004 film, I’m set to marry my soulmate, but it seems like our union is a package deal.


My future MIL—let’s call her “Janna”—is always interfering with my fiancé and my alone time. When my go out to dinner, she’s at the next table over. When we’re out walking, she just happens to run into us. And whenever I leave her alone with my future husband, I hear her whispering, presumably about me.


I don’t think she’s had an effect yet, but I’m starting to get worried that she’ll turn my husband-to-be against me.


What do I do?


 


Sincerely,


The Mom before the Storm


 


Dear Storm,


Sometimes, it can be very hard for a mother to let go of her baby boy. It’s hard to be reminded of the passage of time, and to see somebody else enter your child’s life. It’s a kind of loss that can make a person act in depressing, irrational ways. But even if that can make you feel uncomfortable, Storm, it doesn’t sound like Janna means you any harm. If anything, it sounds like Janna likes you quite a lot—why else would she spend so much time with you?


You might try letting your mother-in-law know that you have no intention of “stealing” her son away. Ask her to spend time with you, just the two of you. If she’s going to show up at a restaurant, why not just invite her to dinner yourself!


If she still doesn’t respect your boundaries, at least you’ll have become close enough to her to share your concerns directly.


 


Dear Mindy,


My sister’s wedding is next month, and I still don’t know what to get her. On their invitation, the couple asked that a donation be made in their name to the charity of their choice. They’re not even registered anywhere.


But I don’t feel right not giving my sis anything. She and her fiancé aren’t particularly well-off, and I’d hate to think that they’re passing up some much-needed home goods just to make a point.


 


Sincerely,


No Time like the Present


 


Dear Present,


I’m going to remind you of Mindy Morals’ no. 1 rule: before you do anything, always listen to what people have to say. Your sister and future brother-in-law said that they wanted a charitable donation instead of a wedding gift. If you want to make them happy, just do that. There’s no trick here.


And if you’re really that concerned that they don’t have the right supplies for their new life together, there’s always Christmas.


 


That’s it for this week, but Mindy is always taking questions. Need help solving your dilemma? Just email mindy@manhattanmedia.com. You just might read your answer in next week’s column.



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