DEAR AMY: I have been with my boyfriend for three years. We were perfectly happy until recently when I received a message from a “friend of a friend,” telling me that he cheated on me six months ago with a friend of mine. I confronted him and he admitted to it and said it happened one time and that it was a mistake on a drunken night. I also reached out to my friend, and she said the same thing. Neither told me because they were too scared to (obviously), but my whole group of friends knew about this and said nothing. He would like to work on our relationship, but it bothers me that he could lie to me for six months and act like everything was fine. I want to give him another chance, but I feel stupid if I do because what’s to say this won’t happen again in the future? Please help a lost girl.
DEAR LOST: This would be a deal-breaker for some people, but only you can decide if you want to leave the relationship over this. Your relationship can recover from infidelity, but only if you two use it as a way to deepen your intimacy and make a commitment to rebuilding trust.
Drunkenness is often used as an excuse for a regretful sexual encounter, but one encounter can have extreme consequences for everyone, including pregnancy, STDs, and damaged relationships.
You should give everyone involved the benefit of your honest reaction to this. Your boyfriend and your friend need to own up to their behavior, apologize to you, and ask for forgiveness.
Your boyfriend also needs to answer the question, “What’s to say this won’t happen again?” If he blames his drinking for this betrayal, then he should definitely examine his drinking, as well as his character flaws.
Understand that trust is a choice. Although you won’t likely forget what happened, once you deal with it, you should work hard not to punish — and re-litigate — this episode every time you have a problem.
DEAR AMY: A very strange thing happened last night. I found my neighbor watering our lawn. In the process, she blasted our house and windows with her hose. I went out to inquire what was happening and she was very rude, telling me that my lawn was dead and that we obviously can’t afford water, so she was helping us out. I tried explaining that we’re in the process of revitalizing our lawn after a moss infestation, but it was like she wasn’t hearing me. I had forgotten her name and told her so apologetically, but she said I didn’t need to know her name. She continued to spray our house after I went back inside. If our windows had been open, like they often are, she would have caused a lot of damage to the inside of our home. The whole incident was so weird and she doesn’t seem rational, so I’m not sure what to do here.
DEAR CONFUSED: I agree that this is very strange. Your neighbor may have a mental health issue or substance abuse problem. Or she might simply be an extremely disrespectful boundary-crosser.
You should contact her immediately (send a letter), and say, “We are reminding you respectfully that you may not enter our yard, under any circumstances.” Any response from her should be answered with a version of, “Thanks, but — literally — stay off of our lawn.”
Don’t ask for an explanation, but be very calm and clear regarding her need to stay off of your property.
If this (or something similar) happens again, you should call the police.
DEAR AMY: Normally I respect your reasonable opinions, but I have a problem with your answer to “Expecting and Uneasy,” whose mother-in-law announced that she would be baby-sitting for their baby. The couple wanted to place their baby into day care instead of having the child’s grandmother take care of it during the workday. You are sorely mistaken if you think that day care is better than a grandparent’s care.
DEAR DISAPPOINTED: Actually, in my answer, I didn’t express any opinion — positive or negative — about day care (I happen to believe that quality day care is good for children and their working parents).
In this case, yes, day care is definitely preferable to placing a baby with a grandmother who has a track record of infuriating family members by not respecting commonsense parenting practices, as well as the parents’ stated wishes.