Ask Amy Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

DEAR AMY: I have been married to my second husband for five years. I hold a great deal of animosity toward him, because in the beginning of our relationship, he let his teenage children disrespect me. I became a person I did not recognize nor like. I felt like it was always three against one and I had to stand up for myself, sometimes being mean. He also has medical issues because he doesn’t take care of himself. So now I live with a man who cannot be sexually intimate with me (and is OK with it). He shows me no affection, but says that he loves me. I am constantly trying to create intimacy between us, but it is always in vain. I am only 49. A few months ago, my ex-husband started telling me how great and sexy I looked. I was starving for attention. One day he came over to bring something for our daughter and we ended up having sex. I know it was not right, but I felt like myself again for the first time in several years. We have continued to be intimate when we can and even though I know what we are doing is wrong, I do not feel guilty. I feel good again and treasure the moments, but I am also upset with my husband and feel he pushed me in this direction. I do love my husband, but I am not in love with him anymore. I am so frustrated and confused. I need an outside opinion.

Pushed Too Far

DEAR PUSHED: Your perspective is that your husband’s neglect has forced you into an extramarital affair.

It must feel good to feel like yourself again and to be cheating on your husband, and yet experience no guilt.

You want your husband to take responsibility for his actions, and yet you also want him to take responsibility for yours.

Adults should own their own behavior, acknowledging and accepting the consequences.

You are engaging in this affair in order to force your own life toward change. You seem to have no commitment to staying in your marriage, and so you should be honest with yourself and your husband, and leave it.

Beware, however — remarrying a previous spouse doesn’t guarantee a happy ending, unless both parties have changed in substantial ways.

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DEAR AMY: A few years ago I bought a small condo at a great price and have since invested money to upgrade it. In the past two years, the housing market in the area has skyrocketed, and I am considering selling the condo to set aside money to meet a number of longtime goals. My mother is now interested in downsizing from her home, and wants to buy my condo. She also wants a $20,000 discount from what the condo is appraised for, saying she can’t afford more (trust me, she can). When I told her that at this time in my life capital is crucial and the difference between what I could get from her vs. a stranger on the market is significant, she was pretty miffed that I “wouldn’t help my own mother.” While she has not helped me financially as an adult, she feels that when she dies (in 30-plus years), I’ll get it all back. Yikes. Amy, what are your thoughts?

Callous Daughter

DEAR DAUGHTER: One advantage of selling to your mother is that you have a ready buyer. If she could come up to the assessed value, this might be worthwhile for everyone.

If she can’t afford the assessed value, then she might not be able to afford to pay the taxes on the place.

Doing business with a family member can create problems, but if you remain businesslike (even if she isn’t), this might work out.

If you make an effort, but can’t see this as mutually advantageous, then you shouldn’t do it.

DEAR AMY: I was surprised to read your admission that you had a miscarriage several years ago. This seemed strangely personal and I wondered why you did it.

Curious

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DEAR CURIOUS: Miscarriage isn’t a crime or an embarrassment. It is something that happened, and I think it can help to talk about it.