DEAR AMY: I recently caught my fiancee of 12 years cheating on me with a co-worker. We have two children together. After I discovered her infidelity, she came home crying and admitted everything. She was also very surprised at how I handled it. I didn’t yell, curse or demand anything. I tried just asking the right questions with the right tone. This allowed her to be more forthcoming. She obviously wants to make our relationship work and is leaving her job since that guy is still there, in order to try to smooth out our situation. I told her we need to talk more and for her to stop holding in any emotions or thoughts and try to talk to me like how I was talking to her when I caught her. It’s been almost a month now since she got caught, and we have been talking more and she has been listening to me, especially when I get those irritating thoughts of what she did, which helps alleviate my frustration. I’ve seen much improvement. She really wants our relationship to continue, but she stresses the fact that she does not want me to retaliate in order to punish her. Do you think this is something that can be repaired, since she is taking the steps to try and make things right and gain my trust again? I really want to make this work, but I’m scared at the same time. What will happen when she starts her new job? What if another guy sweeps her off her feet and she decides to do this again?
DEAR WORRIED: You and your partner are demonstrating that it is possible to recover from an affair if both parties deal with it by being honest with each other, and by making big changes. Her decision to leave her job is a good one. It is necessary for her to leave the orbit of her affair partner and to cease contact with him. Your choice to remain calm and to do some intentional listening is ideal. You two may see your overall relationship improve.
You have work to do, too. It doesn’t seem fair to you, but in order to continue to recover, you will simply have to make a deliberate choice to trust her. Trust is a choice, every single day.
DEAR AMY: My mother-in-law wants to get professional photos of my 8-month-old baby for Christmas. I was not planning on having photos taken because it is not something I wanted. My husband says he doesn’t see the harm in it, and may want to get this done, but I know that if my mother finds out, she’s going to want pictures as well, but will expect me to pay for them! This is not something I want and I don’t like feeling pressured to do it. Any advice?
DEAR MOMMY: You and your husband are in charge of your baby. If you don’t want the child to be professionally photographed, then definitely stand your ground.
However, your objection seems to be about the money this will cost. Your mother seems to be hinting (or outright asking) for you to do this as a gift to her for Christmas, but if you don’t want to give her this gift, perhaps you could suggest it to her as a gift to all of you.
You could say, “Mom, we weren’t planning to do this, but if you would like to split the cost of the session, maybe this could be our Christmas present to each other.”
DEAR AMY: “Distrustful and Angered Neighbor” had a party with a lot of teenagers who downed a few beers while there. Some idiotic neighbor turned them in to the police. Obviously you have issues, Amy, because your answer reflected your own narrow-minded views about alcohol. Your nannying is not needed, or welcome.
DEAR DISGUSTED: Yes, I do have issues. My issues with underage drinking have to do with car crashes being the leading cause of death for teenagers. According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were almost 10,000 alcohol-related fatalities in 2014.
Underage drinking is illegal, and parents who permit or promote it are irresponsible.
On another note, if these parents had been polite enough to notify these neighbors in advance that there would be a large outdoor party bordering their property, the neighbors might have been less inclined to turn them in.