Husband carried on an affair as wife cared for his mother

Published 9:41 am Wednesday, March 25, 2020

DEAR ABBY: My husband of 30-plus years cheated on me several years ago with one of his young private students. In our state, she would have been underage, but she was living in an adjacent state with different laws. I had just finished six months of nursing his mom to heaven. She had Alzheimer’s, and he did very little to help.

We had one of the few fights in our marriage about his affair, but nothing was ever resolved. I suspect he’s still in contact with her, but I can’t prove it. He has never apologized for his behavior. Otherwise, he has been a good husband. He is sick himself now, and I don’t feel right about leaving him. Any thoughts? — NOT RIGHT IN NORTH CAROLINA

DEAR NOT RIGHT: Under the circumstances, you are a nicer woman than he deserves. If you feel you should stay with him until death — or recovery — I respect you for it. However, if you are one of those caring individuals who expends so much time and energy that doing it could hurt your own health, I think you’re entitled to spend as much time as you need taking care of YOURSELF.

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DEAR ABBY: A friend blew me off after a 35-year friendship. I’ve no idea why — just a very hurtful, nasty message. Over the years, we had many ups and downs, but we always made up. Now it has been almost two years since I heard from her.

Last week, for my birthday, she tried to contact me, but I have her blocked. She contacted my sister and said she wants to bury the hatchet. I said, “WHERE? IN THE BACK OF MY HEAD?” I haven’t contacted her yet and am not sure I want to. She hurt me badly. I cried for so long. She was my best friend. I knew she wasn’t perfect. She is the original Drama Queen, but we were still closer than most sisters.

I would at least like to know what made her blow us apart. Should I contact her? My pastor gave a sermon on forgive and forget, but I don’t know if I can do either. — FOE OR FRIEND IN ILLINOIS

DEAR FOE OR FRIEND: Contact the woman and get your questions answered. After that, you can decide whether the estrangement is healthier for you than her drama.

As to your pastor’s sermon, I believe that while people should forgive, they should never forget.


DEAR ABBY: We’re a senior couple who have been together 20 years. My wife and I have a date night twice a week. I feel our physical intimacy melds our spirits and souls together. But lately my wife’s new rule is, “Don’t bother me while my TV programs are on!” When I told her I feel her programs are more important to her than I am, she got upset. So did I. Nothing’s been the same since. What’s your take on this? — OLD GULF COAST LOVER

DEAR LOVER: My take is that you should reschedule your date nights to ones that don’t conflict with your wife’s favorite TV shows, or invest in a digital video recorder so your wife doesn’t miss her programs and you don’t miss a trick.


Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


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