Ask Amy

Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 11:45pm

DEAR AMY: My husband is almost 70 years old. I just found out that he has been fooling around with other women at his job. He is a doorman in an apartment building.

He says it means nothing — that it's just "free booty in the elevator."

He doesn't want to break up our marriage. I was going to leave him. He said he would die without me. We live near where he works, so everyone knows he's married.

I learned he's been doing this for almost 20 years. He fools around only with the women who work in the building.

He does not go out at night — he comes straight home after work and says he is very happy in our marriage. I'm trying to stay in the marriage.

I'm under a doctor's care and trying to cope. He won't change, and I know he'll never leave me!

What kind of woman accepts this type of relationship?

— Sad Wife

DEAR SAD: I can imagine wanting to stay in a long marriage where there is a tremendous emotional investment. There are also valid practical reasons to stay in a marriage. However, your husband is not only unrepentant about his elevator booty calls, but according to you he lacks the ability and intention to change.

I disagree. Any of us is capable of change, given the proper motivation. You should supply him with this motivation.

Your husband is sleazy and unethical on the job. Beyond your anger and sense of betrayal, surely you are recalibrating your personal estimation of him. He should be given a clear directive about his options. He should also agree to meet with you and a professional counselor. If he wants to stay married, this is how he could do it.

While you're working things out, you should consider stepping up your presence in his professional life — if you're available, you might want to bring him coffee at unexpected times and perform your own unannounced elevator inspections.


DEAR AMY: An acquaintance of mine lost his wife recently.

While I've never met the gentleman face to face, we have gotten to know each other on the Internet through a mutual interest.

As an expression of sympathy, I ordered a plant from a florist in his town.

Several months after the funeral, I sent him an e-mail asking if the plant was delivered.

He answered that the plant was delivered and that he had planted it in a special place in the front yard.

I thought this was a short and abrupt response to my inquiry.

Am I wrong to expect some sort of a thank you?

I was expecting an e-mail but received no acknowledgment until my inquiry.

— RF

DEAR RF: This friend should have let you know he received your plant and said thank you, but people don't always do the right thing, especially when they are grieving.

It was very thoughtful of you to send a plant, and your friend has evidently taken the effort to plant it in a special place.

You shouldn't have had to chase down an acknowledgment, but now that you've received one, you should move on.


DEAR AMY: You should not be giving legal advice.

When you advised the assistant that she could not be discharged for reporting her superior's wrongdoing, you were almost certainly incorrect.

Unless she has a written contract specifying that she can only be discharged for cause, she is an "employee at will," meaning that she can be discharged for any reason or no reason, except that people may not be terminated because of their race, gender or age.

If she follows your advice to report this, it is hoped she will know that she may be jeopardizing her position.

— Concerned

DEAR CONCERNED: You're right. I should not be giving legal advice.

My advice to "Trapped Assistant" was to do the right thing, even if that meant brushing up her resume.

I also suggested she see a lawyer, which anyone with a legal question should absolutely do.

Thank you for the correction.

Send questions via e-mail to askamy@tribune.com

Filed under: Lifestyles

1 Comment on this post:

By: richgoose on 4/24/10 at 11:12

I applaud the "doorman" for his extra curricular activities. I would suggest to him that six months after his wife leaves him that she will be a memory only. He will be surprised easy it is to fill a void created by an absent spouse.