ASK AMY: Separated couple should make it official

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Dear Amy: For the last two years my husband and I have lived in separate homes while working on our marriage.

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I just found out that during that time my husband had an affair with his colleague and conceived a baby.

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The lady pulled into my husband’s driveway while we were having a graduation party for our daughter, got the baby out of the car and proceeded into the house!

I confronted her and she told me that my husband is the father of her baby. I could not even comprehend this. I admit I tried to attack her, and it became an ugly scene.

My own two teenagers and his whole family knew about the baby and didn’t tell me!

We have been married for 25 years. My husband said he still loves me and that the affair is over. Otherwise he won’t discuss it.

He allows the woman to come over to his place with the baby.

I told him she shouldn’t be over there, but he doesn’t listen to me.

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He has apologized for what he did and tells me I need to let it go so we can move forward.

I don’t know what to do. He has cheated on me more than once. He won’t go to counselling, nor will he discuss how this happened.

We continue to live in separate homes.

How are we going to move forward if we can’t talk about what has happened?

I’m so angry and resentful.

I hate him at times, but I still love him, too.

His choices make me feel so undervalued.

– Distraught

Dear Distraught: Let’s recap. You and your husband live separately – and you have lived apart for the last two years. During that time he has conducted another relationship and has fathered a child. He’s told everyone about this except for you (and this includes your teenage children).

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Do you define this as “working on your marriage?” Is this evidence of him working on the marriage?

Although strictly speaking this separation doesn’t fit the legal parameters of actual “abandonment,” it certainly seems that your husband has left the marriage. I can only imagine the impact of this complicated situation on you and your children.

I suggest that you see a lawyer and a counsellor in order to make this separation an emotional break, as well as a legal one. The lawyer will advise you on your rights and help you to get the process started, and the counsellor will help you to handle your rage.

This marriage has stolen your self-esteem. It’s time to try to win it back.

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Dear Amy: My nephew is getting married this coming summer.

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I’m trying to decide if I want to go.

I have never really had a relationship with him; I doubt we’ve said 100 words to each other in 22 years.

His parents (my brother and his wife), and siblings are solid Trump followers, while I identify myself as a “rabid liberal.”

I have nothing in common with my brother and his family, and I don’t really know many of the extended family who will probably be there.

The thing is, I like his fiancee, and don’t want to hurt her feelings.

But is it worth it to spend a day with people who don’t want me, and who I don’t want to be with?

– Rabid Liberal

Dear Rabid: You’ve received an invitation to this wedding, so it’s fair to say that someone in this family “wants” you to attend.

If you haven’t exchanged as much as 100 words with your nephew over his lifetime, then it is possible that you don’t actually know all that much about him.

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A wedding is a family event – not a political event.

If you attend, your assumptions about these family members might be verified, or they might be altered, even slightly, toward nuance.

Leaving your own “rabid” attitudes at home would help.

Dear Amy: Your advice to “Lost in Grief” was so right. And I say this as a member of the grieving-through-clutter club.

Only thing I would have added was a recommendation to watch George Carlin’s monologue on stuff. It’s a really funny send-up and reinforces your point that Lost in Grief isn’t alone or “crazy” or “bad” or “wrong” for having this problem.

Do you have an official degree in this, or does your sage advice come from your years of experience as an advice columnist?

– KT

Dear KT: I’m a proud graduate of the School of Life, with a minor in clutter studies.

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