Annie Lane: I am seeing a married man

Published 6:30 am Saturday, January 30, 2021

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Dear Readers: Seeing as Valentine’s Day is around the corner and we could all use a shot of positivity, I want to hear from you: What do you love most about your partner and why? Email with your responses. I’ll print some of my favorite letters in the coming weeks, so stay tuned.

Dear Annie: I have been seeing the same man for 18 years. I say “seeing” because he is married. “Patrick” and I have been messing around together for a long time. Many times throughout the years, I’ve told him that he should really think about what he was doing since he was a married man. His response alternates between, “She and I are pretty much done” — clearly a lie — and “I don’t know how I can love two women at once, but I want to.” I tell him that he can’t. We’ve known each other for so long now that he is one of my best friends. I want to end our romantic relationship, but I’d like to keep him as a friend. He says he won’t have it that way. He continues to call and come over. How do I make him see that we can have a friendship and nothing more?

— No More Messing Around

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Dear NMMA: Even if you two did somehow manage to cease being intimate — a big if — a continued relationship is not a good idea. You’d just be going from a physical affair to an emotional one. Show yourself the love and respect that this man has never been able to muster for you, and stop seeing him. There is someone out there for whom you will be more than enough.

• • •

Dear Annie: “It’s Been a Year” wrote to you regarding her partner’s erectile dysfunction. My husband also had problems, and I was wanting to make an appointment with a urologist, sure they would find a problem and fix it. We never had that appointment. One day, thinking he was having a stroke, a visit to a family doctor sent us to the hospital for a cat scan. Turns out he had a brain tumor and passed 10 months later. Don’t ignore this issue. It could be any number of reasons and some more critical than others!

— Still Missing Him

Dear Still Missing Him: I am so sorry for your loss. I’m printing your letter in the hope that your message reaches anyone who needs to hear it.

• • •

Dear Annie: For the woman whose family dinners are being spoiled by her brother-in-law’s misbehaving children: I’m in my 90s and have never lost interest in children and have found that misbehavior is just a need for attention. Have you ever attempted to engage even one of them in conversation? It doesn’t require much. Consider a brief comment such as: “I like your blue outfit! Is blue your favorite color? That’s a neat Seahawks shirt! Is that your favorite team?” Questions about school are good, too, or what they like to do for fun.

The parents may feel that discipline would be more disruptive for everyone than the misbehavior, or they might become the less-favored parent. (Though that’s a whole different subject.)

Anyway, give it a try. It may not work the first time, but you know the old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!”

— A Great-Gramma

Dear Great-Gramma: I love how this solution leads with empathy. Thanks for making the world a kinder place.

“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to