DEAR ABBY: I recently found out my husband has been having a four-year affair with a woman 24 years younger than I am. He met her at work. He tells me he loves her, but he loves me more. Abby, they actually thought I would agree to him taking her on as a second wife, but, of course, I refused. They no longer see each other, but communicate regularly by text. He misses her, she misses him, and I am deeply hurt, since nothing will ever be the same.
I am also devastated because of my husband’s four years of lies and deception. I didn’t suspect a thing and always loved him deeply. Can I get over this? — HURTING IN WASHINGTON
DEAR HURTING: If you are going to get past this — notice I did not say “get over” — it will take both cooperation from your husband and the services of a licensed marriage and family therapist.
You were lied to and betrayed, and it wasn’t a one-time mistake. That he and his paramour remain in touch indicates that while the physical affair may be over, their emotional affair is ongoing. For your marriage to be repaired and trust rebuilt, that too must end.
DEAR ABBY: My son-in-law is lazy and arrogant. My daughter seems to think he walks on water. He has answers and excuses for everything. I’m realizing that he may never amount to anything, because he has no ambition. They recently had a baby, and he does very little to help. Washing and sterilizing bottles leaves him “exhausted.”
I treasure my relationship with my daughter and grandson and want them all to want to come over and be close. I am trying to keep my mouth shut, but my daughter knows how I feel. How do I navigate this challenge of having to bite my lip when I see him lying around with a sink full of dishes? What am I allowed to say without alienating him? — EXASPERATED MOM IN CANADA
DEAR MOM: If you are wise, you will keep your thoroughly chewed lip zipped. Your daughter knows how you feel, so resist that urge to harp on it. When she reaches her limit, I’m sure she will come up with some choice phrases to blast her husband off the sofa. Remember, this is her problem, not yours, so let her handle it.
DEAR ABBY: We are part of a group of four couples who arrange to get together for dinners. One of the couples continually invites another couple at the last minute without checking with the rest of us.
We are hosting a dinner and planned it around the eight of us, only to find out this couple has invited another couple — again! I explained to the woman that I don’t think it’s nice to invite additional people without first checking with the hosts, certainly not at 10 o’clock the night before, but they don’t want to leave the fifth couple out. This is the third time this has happened, and others have spoken to her about it to no avail. Please help! — UNINVITED IN DELAWARE
DEAR UNINVITED: What the woman is doing is beyond inconsiderate. The “way to handle it” would be to discuss it with the other group members and agree to disinvite this couple from your group. Three strikes and they’re out.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.