Dear Annie: I have been married for seven years. My husband has had not one but several affairs. And he didn’t just have affairs; he had two kids born six weeks apart from two different women.
I love my husband and am helping him raise these children, who are now 2 years old. I keep telling myself the kids are innocent and it’s not their fault they’re the products of affairs, and I want to help them.
I still feel he’s messing around. Even if he’s not, the fear will always be in my mind. I don’t know whether it’s just my not wanting to be alone or I do actually love him this much.
I am really confused and can’t help but wonder whether this man loves me as I love him. Is he using me because I’m older and settled? — Lost and Confused
Dear Lost and Confused: There’s so much to unpack from your letter, and there’s hardly space here to begin. I don’t know whether your husband is using you or whether he’ll cheat again. But I know you’re unhappy in this relationship, and something needs to change. That might mean leaving him and building a healthy sense of independence; it might mean staying together and learning to put the infidelity behind you. Either way, you will find the necessary tools in therapy.
Dear Annie: You recently published a letter from “Tortured in New York,” a woman who is “uncomfortable” with opposite-sex nurses. You supported her desire to have only female nurses and said the hospital should have honored her request immediately when she protested a male nurse’s caring for her.
What would you say, then, if a man requested that only male nurses examine him and help him in a clinical setting? Would you agree with him that his request should be honored immediately?
Honestly, I am a man who would always prefer that only male medical professionals see me naked, but I don’t expect that because it would be sexist for me to demand such. But when I have a colonoscopy every five years, for example, I’d prefer a male nurse dress me afterward. So far, it’s always been a female nurse. I’m embarrassed when I come completely conscious and see her. — A Shy Man in Texas
Dear Shy Man: To clarify, I did not tell “Tortured in New York” that she had a right to a female nurse or that the hospital should have honored her request immediately. I only told her she could make such a request and the staff members would most likely do what they could to accommodate her. Since the letter ran, I’ve received feedback from medical professionals affirming that position. Though there’s no guarantee you’ll get a male nurse if you request one, it doesn’t hurt to ask. Just be sure to do so well in advance, preferably when making your appointment.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.