Dear Amy: I have been with my husband for 23 years. It took me many years to trust him, due to his past behavior where he lied to me and was with other women.
Honestly, it took me over 20 years to finally trust him, but this was a mistake.
Recently, he started acting suspiciously, again.
In the past, I never looked in his phone, but this time I decided to look at his text messages.
He was planning to take a single woman camping for a weekend. He’s known her for a while.
She knows he is married. We had a huge fight. He said he told her that I said it was OK.
What single middle-aged woman would think that any shade of this is OK?
I tried to contact her by phone and text. She never responded.
I made him leave for the weekend so that I could think about our relationship.
I am angry, hurt and I feel betrayed.
I destroyed every card and 99 percent of my pictures of the two of us.
He says he doesn’t want a divorce. He says he wants me here with him.
He is refusing counseling.
– Sad and Empty
Dear Sad: You seem quite focused on what your husband says, and on what he claims to want.
Given that you don’t trust him at all, you should not trust his lame explanations or dodging statements. Nor should you judge a single woman for agreeing to go camping with your married husband. Why? Because, given that he seems to be supplying the information here, there is some likelihood that she doesn’t know that he is married, or that he has told her that you two are separated or divorced.
All of your information about your husband’s behavior comes from him.
Over two decades of being with him should have taught you this: Lying liars lie. It’s what they do. Nor does your husband seem particularly interested in changing.
Take the time you need to grieve this relationship, but it is also important that you focus on what you want and need from here on out. Life is short. You have an opportunity for a fresh start. Counseling will help you to clarify your options. Go to counseling without him.
Dear Amy: I am known in my family for being a baker, and for the holidays I do love to make cookies, pies and pastries.
I also love making special holiday bread.
My husband recently reconnected with a relative with special dietary needs (no sugar and no gluten), and he wants me to bake additional items (a dessert and bread) for every holiday event they will be attending.
While I’m not opposed to some alternative baking, I don’t really have the time (or the desire) to make multiple alternative recipes for each occasion.
I don’t have any problem buying some items for them from the local gluten-free bakery to bring, and I would be happy to do that.
Am I being unreasonable?
Dear Baker: If you are hosting an event in your home where you will be supplying all of the baked goodies, it would be thoughtful for you to include something that this relative can safely eat. Remember that anyone can eat no-sugar/no-gluten food, so perhaps you can find a recipe that is tasty and which everyone can safely consume, saving you the trouble of doubling up on your baking.
If you are supplying all of the baked goods for an event outside your home, then yes – it is thoughtful for you to also bring something safe for this relative to eat. Homemade or store bought, who cares? It truly is the thought that counts.
And speaking of thoughts – because this is so important to your thoughtful husband, perhaps he can take on some of the responsibility for supplying these specialty baked goods.
Dear Amy: I was amused by your answer to “Clean Please!” the letter from a woman who was about to move into her boyfriend’s small and extremely messy apartment.
You warned her about the red flags over this situation, where you really should have warned HIM! He’s the one who she will relentlessly try to change the second she moves in. He’s the one who will be cast as a “problem.” He’s the one who will be constantly disappointing her.
– Disappointed Guy
Dear Disappointed: I assure you – if the letter had been written by the male partner in this situation, I would have warned him, for the reasons you state.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)