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ASK AMY: Woman Can’t Cry Until She Forgives

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Dear Amy: My husband passed away a few months ago. He was highly respected. Everyone held him in high regard.

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We have been married for over 50 years.

About 40 years ago he was working with a woman who lived in another city. He and other colleagues traveled to his town for work.

We had been married for 10 years and had three children.

I went to an awards dinner held in their honor.

On the morning of dinner he was in the shower and the phone rang in our hotel room. When I answered, the person on the other end of the phone used their name instead of mine.

My husband said the person knew they were working together and assumed they were there before they left for dinner.

Shortly thereafter, there were a few more incidents that made me suspect.

A few weeks passed and he said he wasn’t going to work with her anymore because he was starting to have feelings for her.

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I raised all my suspicions and accused him of having an affair.

He was upset and told me that nothing had ever happened between them.

I couldn’t forget.

I always wondered why he told me he had feelings for her. He could have just stopped working with her, and I wouldn’t have known.

We stayed together for another 40 years, but I could never fully forgive him.

Now that he’s dead, I think about it more than ever.

Other than that, he was the perfect husband and father.

Do you think I’m using this as a reason not to cry?

– Stuck

Dear stuck: Your theory as to why you are blocked might be correct. Also, my point is that you might now (subconsciously) justify your inability or unwillingness to forgive your husband over the past 40 years – and so you are doubling down and ruminating about it, now.

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Certainly, his confession of yesteryear would have been very difficult for you to accept, but it seems to me that he did everything he should have done: he was honest with you, he stopped working with her, he continued marriage with you.

I believe that you would find some release now if you worked toward forgiveness – forgiving him for his transgression, as well as yourself – to hold onto it so firmly.

We humans grapple with complications and frailties. We hurt each other. The ability to forgive is such a gift – I hope you can give it to yourself now.

A bereavement group or a therapist may be able to help you deal with this problem.

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Dear Amy: My wife and I have married twice. Our first marriage lasted 28 years. We remarried three years ago.

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The reason for the first divorce was that she was cheating on me with my best friend.

It went on for years and I tolerated it until my kids were old before I moved on.

After two years of celibacy, I decided to return to my wife because my daughter was getting married and I always wanted a family life.

My wife is cheating again – at least four times that I know of.

He’s a really nice person otherwise and we never fight.

I am a healthy person, sexually and mentally, but the mental abuse of this cheating is not easy for me.

What do I do now?

– Family man

Dear father: You could try having an “open” marriage, where you and your wife remain legally married and continue to live together, but are both free to have external relationships.

This might not be tenable for you – in which case, you can divorce again, but continue in a family and friendly relationship with that woman whom you have chosen to marry twice.

You obviously care about her, but she – obviously – won’t be in a monogamous relationship with you.

Dear Amy: “Discouraged Dating” expects dates to text him.

I’m a mom to three young men, and they just can’t find women who don’t want to text all day – 24/7.

They actually have jobs they need to work in, but these needy professional women want to be joined at the hip as soon as they meet.

It seems to me that if you are chatting all day, then why bother getting together; there is probably nothing more to say.

– Confused mom

Dear puzzled: Thank you for offering this perspective.

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