DEAR AMY: I am very close with my oldest sister. Her daughter is planning to marry a woman many years younger than she. I don’t believe in same-sex weddings, nor do I have any desire to attend this wedding. My children feel the same way. The wedding is out of town, with many expenses involved. I hate to travel and have many obligations in town, including owning my own business. Amy, my sister is not taking “No” for an answer! How do I get out of this wedding without creating a rift in our relationship?
Want to Stay Peaceful
DEAR WANT: I gather that you have already offered up all of your various excuses, and so now all you have left is the truth: You don’t want to go to this wedding because you refuse to attend a same-sex wedding ceremony.
And so first, a public service announcement about excuses: When you make one, you really need to commit to it. Lean in! Think Al Pacino in “Scent of a Woman,” or Meryl Streep in, well, anything.
Because you seem to be throwing various excuses at the wall in hopes that one will stick, I’m concluding — and your sister will, too — that you are flailing around, trying to obscure your own truth, which is that you hold a particular prejudice, but you seem too embarrassed to own it.
Because this is your truth, and because your beloved sister’s truth is that she loves and accepts her daughter, there is no way you can get out of this wedding without creating a rift.
You can only hope that your sister is more tolerant of your truth than you are of hers, and that she will forgive you.
DEAR AMY: My wife and I have been together for 15 years. About four years ago she had an affair. I continue to be affected by it, even though I have had therapy and time to heal. Recently, I had been having a few bad weeks and, admittedly, was not doing the best job at being a husband. During this time, my wife started a new affair, and this has helped me to realize once and for all that she isn’t right for me. We have two young children (9 and 6). I have told her that because of her lack of respect for me, as well as this new person’s lack of respect for our marriage, I do not want to have a relationship on any level with her, if she chooses to continue with this affair. After two affairs now I believe I have the right to have my own feelings be respected. Am I wrong?
Two Affairs to Remember
DEAR TWO: One caution: You will always have to have a relationship with the woman you married, because she is the mother of your children.
Your rage and sense of betrayal is completely righteous, normal and understandable. Yes, you have a right for your feelings to be respected.
Your wife’s infidelity seems habitual at this point, and now it is your turn to decide if you want to try to save the marriage, yet again, or get a lawyer to review your options regarding leaving the marriage.
You will feel somewhat empowered if you take charge of your own choices, regardless of what she decides to do. Start by checking in with your therapist. Be good and kind to yourself and your children, and don’t behave toward your wife in a way you might regret later. Her actions are regrettable; yours don’t have to be.
DEAR AMY: I have a tip for “Trying to be my Own Magic Wand,” who was wondering how to get some control over her life. On the morning of an important date that you’ll remember, such as your birthday, turn all of the hangers in your closet backward, so the hook openings face outward. After wearing something, hang it up normally. On that date next year, give away everything still hanging backward. You can do the same thing in a dresser drawer by initially folding items inside-out.
Clean Closet Laura
DEAR LAURA: Many readers have responded with helpful tips to help this person to get on track in terms of tidying up her life. Starting with various baby steps can help a person to feel more in control.
Your technique is one I would never try — I am many baby steps behind — but I’m intrigued, and I’m happy it works for you.