DEAR READERS: Your questions never take a holiday, but occasionally I must. The week's "best of" columns come from deep within the Ask Amy vault.
DEAR AMY: My lovely daughter with two small sons and a great husband is cheating on him with an also-married father of two. She has admitted it to me and states that no one plans on leaving their spouse, but they are bored and giving each other what they both lack in their marriages. She claims that although she loves her husband, she is bored. I'm very worried that someday she will slip and be caught. She reads your column every day, and she won't listen to me. Please advise her in any way you can. This is making me ill.
-- Worried Mom
DEAR WORRIED: Have you ever noticed how bored people are also boring? I can see why you want better for your family, but I wonder if your daughter has the energy, imagination and character to be in a functioning marriage.
Maybe this will help jolt her: If she is caught, and her husband decides to divorce her, does she realize that she is giving him ammunition to make a custody claim on the children? A boring marriage can't become less boring if one spouse is saving all the good stuff -- the passion and intrigue -- for someone else. Ultimately, cheating on her family is an act of not only cowardice but laziness. Marital counseling can work, but only if both parties muster up the energy to commit to the process. (March 2004)
DEAR AMY: After dating a 53-year-old man for six months (staying over six nights a week), I find that I am continually jealous over his relationship with his ex-girlfriend. He has been out with her and not invited me, even though I said I would love for all of us to get together. They talk frequently on the phone. He says that there is nothing to worry about, and if I did the same and there was no intent to cheat, it would be fine with him. He has a lot of dating experience, and I am a widow with very little, but this is offensive to me. What do you think?
-- Dating Dilemma
DEAR DATING: The most vigorous and healthy couples pull one another into their friendship orbit. If your guy has a nice friendship with his ex, he should invite you in. I think you should take your boyfriend at his word and get busy, not to make him jealous but to develop a nice well-rounded life outside of this relationship, similar to the one he enjoys. (June 2004)