Dear Annie: “Harold” and I have been married for two years — both second marriages. We are in our 50s, with children from our first marriages. I help one son with some college tuition and living expenses, but he also works and gets loans and scholarships. Harold has three children in college whom he supports entirely.
When we married, I sold my little house and moved into Harold’s huge place. I do all the housework, laundry, most of the shopping and cooking, and some of the maintenance. Harold does the yardwork.
We both work full time, though he makes roughly five times my salary. I continue to pay all my own expenses, including clothes, insurance, car expenses, etc. I buy at least half of the household groceries and pay the insurance premiums for both of us. I never ask Harold for a penny, nor do I spend any of “his” money or use his credit cards. Harold pays for our vacations, dinners at expensive restaurants, and the mortgage, maintenance and utilities. (The house is in his name only.)
Harold takes lavish golf trips with his friends, buys expensive clothes for himself and his kids, and indulges in fine wines and expensive cuts of meat. I buy my clothes on sale and try to save a little money each month.
Harold now expects me to pay half of all the household expenses, which includes utilities and his expensive wines (but excludes the mortgage). Plus, he wants me to continue paying all the expenses that I have been paying so far.
I’m beginning to wish I hadn’t married this tightwad. It feels like I have to pay for the privilege of living in his castle. I didn’t want a “sugar daddy,” but it bugs me that I’m supposed to support his extravagant lifestyle and that of his children when I make so much less than he does. Is this fair? — Feeling Used in Washington, D.C.
Dear Feeling Used: No, of course it’s not fair. His salary is five times yours. He should be paying five times as much. Harold is taking advantage of you, and it’s time to put your foot down. If he is not willing to create a more equitable arrangement, it’s time to see a lawyer.
Dear Annie: I have been living with “Terry,” my 23-year-old fiance, for two years. I am 30 years old and have been in quite a few more relationships than he has. I first met Terry where I worked. He and I became good friends, and I trusted him with a lot of information about the men I was dating, and now I am paying for it.
My problem is that whenever he can, Terry brings up my past relationships. He is constantly reminding me what I did with other men. He gets really angry and makes me feel awful and ashamed.
I don’t feel bad for sleeping around when I was younger, and I am now totally devoted to Terry. But we argue about this every day. He doesn’t trust me, and I’m ready to give up. How should I approach him about his comments? — Losing Out
Dear Losing Out: Forget it. Terry is too young for you, and he is unable to forgive and forget your past. If you marry him, we guarantee it will not get better. Cut your losses and move on.
Dear Annie: I was interested in the responses to the letter from “Crying Guy,” the military man who cries at funerals and other occasions. As anyone who has read “The Iliad” knows, warriors weep. A man who cannot cry has no greatness. — Jacksonville, Fla.
Dear Jacksonville: Thank you for putting a more heroic spin on the problem. We hope all the crying guys out there will take heart.
“Annie’s Mailbox” is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2016. To find out more about Classic Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.