1. Archive


Q: I am in my 70s, on Social Security and in my second marriage. My wife, "Irene," is in her early 50s and holds a good job. She also holds the purse strings, and allows me $5 a week for coffee with my friends. I drive a little scooter, and Irene has given me a gas credit card so I can get around.

Last week, I told her that I need some underwear and asked her for her store credit card.

She said she has a drawer full of nylon panties and that I should wear them instead. She said when they are worn out she will buy me some new men's underwear. She also said she didn't want to waste any money on me since the panties are still wearable.

What if someone finds out? Irene says that since I'm over 70 it doesn't matter. Do you think this is right?

Prefers Briefs

A: No, I do not think it is right. Regardless of your age, your feelings matter a great deal. You should wear underwear in which you feel comfortable without having to worry about anyone "finding out."

Because your wife is so tight-fisted, please consider finding a part-time job so you will have spending money of your own. Your wife may be the wage earner in the family, but that doesn't mean she should be the only one "wearing the pants."

A stepmother feels left out by the stepson she helped raise

Q: I helped raise my husband's son, "Scott," from the age of 9 to his present age of 19. I devoted my energy, love, money and time to all his activities, while his own mother sat by and did next to nothing to participate in any of it.

Scott has now become "best friends" with his mom, and I am all but forgotten. The way he treats me now, you would have thought that I'd beaten him with a stick. If I had it to do over again, I would never have stepped into that family situation.

Thank goodness Scott has moved out. His dad and I are having the time of our lives. I hope there is a special place in heaven for good stepmoms, because I have gotten no credit at all.

Ignored in Oregon

A: I know you feel hurt and angry right now, but the story isn't over yet. Regardless of how little your husband's ex gave to their son, she is still Scott's mother. You have been a generous and loving friend to that young man, and I am sure your husband loves you all the more for your caring heart.

So enjoy your second honeymoon and realize that Scott still has some growing up to do. This will probably sort itself out. But if it doesn't, you will be able to go forward knowing you did the right thing and so will the man you love.