DEAR AMY: Am I asking too much to expect my husband to eliminate all contact and exposure to his (former) emotional affair partner? He feels my requests are unreasonable and continues to attend social functions, knowing full well that she will also be in attendance. He remains friendly with her as though nothing happened. This affair nearly ended our marriage and I long for a total commitment without further exposure to his past addiction. My former therapist felt that my husband should understand my position and be willing to make that commitment to me and to our marriage. I relive the entire heartbreaking period of our marriage each time I see him choose to be around her. I can only assume this is truly an addiction that must be dealt with, beginning with total abstinence. Otherwise these social functions provide a fix rather than a cure to his problem. Your advice?
DEAR HEARTBROKEN: You equate your husband's emotional affair with an addiction. So yes, it would be easiest on you if your husband would agree to totally abstain from social contact with this person.
But he won't. So the only question you need to answer for yourself now is: "What's next for me?" My own take is that, if your husband had an emotional affair and then is able to run into this person and act as if nothing had happened, isn't that a good thing? If he acted all weird, secretive and intimate -- that would be an indication that this contact was a trigger for him. But really, it seems to be a trigger for you.
If your husband truly is addicted and you want to stay with him, then you should take a page out of the addiction and recovery playbook and understand that you are powerless to control him. You may choose to love him through this, or you may choose to leave him over this.
You might also realize that if you see this person and hold your head up and "act" like nothing has happened, it is one way to reclaim your own life and get some of your power back.
DEAR AMY: What is it about people and their dogs? I love my dog (and dogs in general) as much as the next person but I would never ask (or assume) I could bring my dog to anyone's house. In the past week I have had one relative ask to bring their untrained puppy on her multi-day visit to our home. At least she asked (I said no). Another relative emailed and asked to stay the night (with a puppy). I have a friend who always brings her dog to our house. This dog consistently pees and poops on my floor. She seems to think it's OK because she cleans up after it. I think it's rude, unsanitary and gross. I have a dog and would never impose on someone by bringing him to another house. I feel like if you have a dog and need to leave town you should make arrangements for it either with a housesitter or a kennel. Am I being too picky about this?
Pee-ved in LA
DEAR PEE-VED: Dogs are now considered by many to be full-fledged family members, but this status requires that the owners must take full responsibility for being great parents. The friend who lets her "baby" poop and pee on your floor isn't being a good "mom" -- or a good friend. You should be honest with her about the impact on you. Otherwise you are doing a great job of saying no when you mean no.
My own reaction to this trend is to request equal access for my giant tabby cat, Chester. He's quite well-behaved.
DEAR AMY: Bravo for the daughter of "Hurt Mother," the 28-year-old woman who broke off her engagement and moved out of her parents' home, but wouldn't bow to her mother's disappointment and pressure. This mom needs to let go, right now. My wife and I feel that a measure of parents' success is how independent the kids turn out to be.
DEAR DAD: I agree.