Annie Lane: Husband’s age gap is inappropriate

Published 5:26 pm Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Dear Annie: My husband is 59 years old and thinks it is OK to ogle young girls less than 18 years of age — more like 15 to 16. He does this with me present and says it is natural behavior and that all men do it.

I say it is disrespectful to me and resembles pedophile behavior. I am 64 years old, and he had an affair with a 29-year-old female about a year ago. What is your opinion?

— Feeling the Sting of Growing Old

Dear Feeling Old: I’m not sure why your husband’s actions are making you feel old instead of disgusted. You should dump him. His pedophile behavior — and, yes, that is what it is — has nothing to do with your age and everything to do with his Lolita complex. He needs to seek treatment immediately. A 59-year-old man staring at 15-year-old girls and having an affair with a girl in her 20s? You can do better.

• • •

Dear Annie: I was married for 10 years to the father of my 40-year-old daughter. We divorced when she was 7; he left me to continue a relationship I didn’t know he was having. That lasted six months. He has since been married twice more and had many other relationships between and during those marriages. The thing is, I had no idea he was not monogamous until he left.

I have always been well-employed and capable of supporting myself and our daughter without a second income. Before he left me, he took a distant job that uprooted me, with my compliance, because we were married and, I thought, happy. We moved again, and I went along.

Less than a month after he left me, several longtime friends told me they knew of his affairs before our daughter was born. My point: People in a relationship, or who think they’re in a relationship, with a player deserve to know about it as soon as their friends do. I would never have temporarily short-circuited my career, left my home city, or packed and unpacked households endlessly had I known about his predilections. Thank goodness he left when he did!

It’s been 33 years. My daughter and I are close; I have a great life and career. But I’m weighing in because of the queasiness I read here on this subject; just like you’d tell a friend that she has spinach in her teeth or toilet paper on her shoe, for heaven’s sake, give her a heads up if you’re certain that her spouse repeatedly acts single when she’s not around.

To answer an unspoken question, I never felt angry at my friends. Enough time was already wasted.

— The Truth Set Me Free

Dear Truth: It sounds like you made great steps toward creating a wonderful life without your husband. Thank you for your letter.

“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