Amy Dickinson
Columnist

Ask Amy: It’s reunion season. Time to dust off that affair.

DEAR AMY: My wife had an emotional affair with a friend from childhood. We worked hard to put the affair behind us, and it was a difficult task.

She now wants to go to his high school reunion — a class that she was not even a member of. She says the invitation is open to classmates and other family members.

Amy Dickinson

Amy Dickinson offers straightforward advice on relationships, family and life in her syndicated column, Ask Amy. Syndicated advice columns are run in their entirety on washingtonpost.com; versions published in the newspaper might differ due to space constraints.

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I was flabbergasted that she would even suggest going. Things like this trigger memories of the pain I went through for several years.

I don’t believe she should go, and I can’t understand why she would even suggest it under the circumstances. And why would she even run the risk of it causing further damage to me and to our marriage?

I’m the bad guy for not understanding her side of it. I would welcome your advice. -- Flabbergasted

DEAR FLABBERGASTED: Your discomfort is completely understandable.

To heal from an affair (emotional or otherwise), the spouse needs to agree not to be in touch with or seek out the company of the affair partner. This is not only a matter of respecting your sensitivities, but it is plain old common sense. If your wife doesn’t see how this affects you, then she is just not trying hard enough.

At some point, you need to make a choice not to let this issue control you. You could reclaim some power by attending this event with your wife, but only you can decide if you are ready to do this.

DEAR AMY: I am having one of those “mean girl” experiences and would like your input.

My daughter likes to play with a neighbor girl. We have had her over several times (but receive no return invite). We see this family on a regular basis and this little girl is always kind and friendly.

Last summer, my young husband had a stroke. Our whole family was stunned, and my daughter took it especially hard. The husband of this family approached me and asked if there was something they could do for us. I said that having the girls play together would help. He replied this little girl was having a party the following weekend with a huge inflatable and that my daughter should come. He said his wife would send me the information.

This information never came. The day of the party arrived, so did the huge inflatable, and they set up for a party. I asked my mother-in-law to take my daughter out so she wouldn’t see it.

I have seen this woman several times since. She has never said anything to me or to my husband, or even acknowledged our presence. I am shocked and I worry that our children will feel shunned. Any suggestions? -- Upset Mom

DEAR UPSET: You could have handled this very differently by being more proactive on your daughter’s behalf.

You should assume that this husband might not have communicated with his wife about the invitation he had extended. You should have followed up with a phone call to her, saying, “Rich was kind enough to invite our daughter to your daughter’s party and I wanted to make sure that is okay with you and ask you what time she should be there?”

I’m not sure why you are being ignored by this neighbor, and if you don’t understand this behavior, you should not assume that it is personal. Speak to her in a neutral way and make a decision about what to do next based on her behavior and reaction to you.

DEAR AMY: This is in response to the question from “Wondering,” who had met a woman online who had only talked about herself on their first date.

It brought back memories of my first phone conversation with my husband (whom I also met online). He asked me lots of questions, which led to me just talking about myself.

After a while, he kindly said with a smile in his voice, “I’m sure you have some questions about me.” It was a gentle way to make me realize I hadn’t asked him any questions at all! -- Thankful Wife

DEAR THANKFUL WIFE: Your husband’s turnabout was perfect.

Write to Amy Dickinson at askamy@tribune.com or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

2012 by the Chicago Tribune

Distributed by Tribune Media Services

 
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