Dear Amy: I have been married to my wife for 27 years.
I always had the conviction that you marry for life.
I recently met someone online who has changed my life.
She is 20 years my junior and has two small children.
She and I want to be together. I already know more about her than I do my wife of 27 years.
Her father and stepmother met on Facebook, and they have been happily married since then, so she believes our relationship will work.
Because my wife is helping me through my illness, I feel guilty leaving her.
I don't know what to do. I haven't been happy in so long. I deserve to be happy.
Is it wrong for me to leave my wife after she has been helping me through my illness?
I don't know what to do.
What do you think?
Unsure: It turns out that YOU didn’t marry for life, but it seems that you married someone who did.
I suggest that you pack your bags and medical supplies as soon as possible, to relieve your wife of the burden of continuing to fulfill her marriage vows to you.
If you truly believe that meeting on Facebook is the standard by which successful long-term relationships should be gauged, then surely you will enjoy whatever outcome you experience with this new relationship.
No doubt you will richly deserve whatever happiness is in store.
If your current wife has any sense, she will drive you to the airport and begin the process of her own later-life liberation.
I have a strong feeling that if this plays out according to the familiar script, you will come bouncing back home at some point, so understand as you leave that your wife might have moved on by then.
Dear Amy: I recently got together with a group of friends. One of the group mentioned that a woman we know had left her job to manage her daughter's "career" as an Instagram model and influencer.
Someone pulled up the girl's account, and we all viewed the photos.
She is indeed a lovely little girl, and my friend reports that the mom believes she's on her way to fame and fortune.
For the record, I think "influencer" is a ridiculous career aspiration, but if an adult wants to spend all their time posing for photos and posting them online, that's their business. However, this girl is 11 or 12 years old.
The account information includes the girl's full name. Some of the photos look like typical child-modeling stuff, but others show her wearing heavy makeup and posing in leotards and skimpy clothing.
What I find most disturbing are the hashtags, which look to me like pedophile bait: childmodel, preteen, beautifultween, blondetween, etc.
This doesn't look like a kid showing off on Instagram; these are all professional photos, and it seems pretty clear that this account is managed by Mom. I don't know this woman well, and I'm pretty sure that if I were to contact her to say hey, I think this is icky and irresponsible, she would not take it well.
Part of me thinks I should just mind my own business, but another part of me thinks this is gross and potentially unsafe for this child. I'm not sure what to do, if anything.
What do you think?
Concerned: I agree with you regarding the grossness and adult exploitation of a tween’s natural desire to look awesome and to get a lot of attention for it.
I also agree with you about the potential risks to the child.
This account is public. Anyone can view these photos, and so yes, as a member of the public who has seen the account and also knows the account manager, you should contact her (privately and respectfully) to share your concerns.
Expect your concerns to be dismissed.
Dear Amy: Thank you for your understanding and comprehensive advice to "Old Messy House Dweller," who was overwhelmed by the mess and condition of her big old house.
I am walking in this person's shoes, and her question — and your answer — were the inspiration I needed.
Inspired: I was inspired, too. Time to tidy!
2021 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency