DEAR AMY: I got married last year. My husband and I are both in our 50s with grown children. I am the primary breadwinner. “Billy” is a kind and loving man, who spoke strongly on the importance of being faithful before we were married. We seem to have grown apart over the past year and have not been sexually intimate as often as we used to be. I am the reason for this, as I get busy with working full time and spending time with the grandchildren. Plus the fact that I do all the housework. He also has ED problems and doesn’t like to take a pill. He feels I just need to keep trying. I get tired of the “keep trying” part. He is impotent, and this doesn’t change. He accidentally left his Facebook page up on the computer the other day. I don’t use Facebook, but out of curiosity I went to his home page and found messages with different women where he was telling them how beautiful and sexy they are and offering to pleasure them. The messages go back about five months. They were sent while I was at work and he was unemployed. He is staying somewhere else for now and has called several times. Sometimes he says how sorry he is and that nothing ever happened, it was just talk. But other times he says, “Well, you weren’t giving me enough attention and I had to get it somewhere.” He is right about me not giving him enough attention, but to do this instead of talking to me? Should I talk things out with him and see if we should try again, or should I get a divorce and be done with him? I’m not really sure if I could ever forgive him.
DEAR ANGRY: You two should definitely talk things out. A marriage counselor can provide the setting, along with some guidance to both of you.
I think you probably could forgive your husband’s behavior, if you truly believed your situation could be radically different. However, from the tone of your letter, you don’t seem motivated to try. Given the confluence of issues, working things out would require mutual commitment and hard work.
Even if you decide to permanently part ways, doing so peacefully and with insight into your behaviors and reactions will help both of you in the future. Sometimes counseling helps you to break up.
DEAR AMY: Our 8-year-old granddaughter will be having a recital soon. Her mother (my son’s ex-girlfriend) will probably be there. This woman went through an intense battle with our son over custody of our granddaughter, telling outrageous lies about him. She has prevented us from seeing our granddaughter in the past and has said many degrading things about me to my family. We have always been kind to this woman, and my husband and I are loving and caring toward our granddaughter. Due to the intensely negative experiences I have had with this toxic woman, my choice is to never see her again. She may be at the recital with her parents. I would like to acknowledge them with a hug if I see them, but quite frankly I want to ignore this woman as if she isn’t there. I deeply resent the way she has treated us. I don’t even want to be in the same room with her, but I do want to be there for my granddaughter. How should I handle this event?
DEAR ANXIOUS: If you intend to stay involved in your granddaughter’s life, it would be unrealistic for you to be able to completely avoid her mother. Events like this recital, graduations and other ceremonial events will bring you in proximity to the girl’s mother.
This is going to be hard for you, so accept the challenge and decide to behave well.
Think about what you want your granddaughter to witness, and do that. Understand that she is absorbing everything, even if you don’t see her watching.
Offer a cordial handshake to your granddaughter’s other grandparents and greet her mother verbally. Point your conversation toward the other adults and keep things friendly and neutral.
DEAR AMY: The letter writer “Upset” was delusional. Her child shared a video of her being blind drunk, and she blamed everyone but herself.
DEAR SAD: Spreading the blame and responsibility for their drinking is what alcoholics do when they’re not ready to face the actual consequences of their drinking. I hope “Upset” gets help.