Wife finds it difficult to accept husband’s past

Published 8:05 am Wednesday, January 31, 2024

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DEAR ABBY: After 17 years of marriage, I learned, to my dismay, that when he was 22, my husband had a long-term relationship with a 16-year-old. He insisted that she had lied about her age and told him she was 20.
But even after finding out her true age, he went back to her. Her mother was OK with it, as well as other family members who all knew she was underage. It makes me sick to my stomach. They engaged in sexual activity when she was underage. They were even engaged until she allegedly cheated.
I’m livid because he tried to say he TOLD me she was underage, but he never did. I would never have dated or married someone who knowingly had sex with an underaged individual. I’ve been questioning a lot about this marriage, but this sent me over the top. Am I overreacting because he “was young and dumb” and “did something stupid and never did it again,” as he puts it? – CAN’T GET OVER IT

DEAR CAN’T: The most important line in your letter as far as I am concerned is this one: “I’ve been questioning a lot about this marriage.” The first item on your agenda should be to make an appointment with a licensed marriage and family therapist so you and your husband can start working on what’s wrong with your relationship.
His feelings for that girl were sincere. He would have married her had she not cheated on him. If he has been a faithful and caring husband since your marriage, it’s time to forgive him for his youthful indiscretion, which was encouraged by the girl’s family.
DEAR ABBY: My son and daughter-in-law are in their early 30s. They have a 5-year-old child who hasn’t seen a doctor since infancy. They opted not to vaccinate. Although my husband and I do not agree with it, we keep our mouths shut.
Our precious granddaughter has been sick with a severe cough and fever on and off for close to two months. Although they have health insurance, they refuse to take her to a doctor. They treat her with over-the-counter meds and holistic remedies.
I finally told my daughter-in-law I felt it was negligence to not take the child to a pediatrician. The other grandmother feels the same way I do. Now I’m being “canceled” for finally expressing how I feel. I am disconsolate with the thought that they would actually do that to me. I did apologize for my choice of words and the way I said them.
What else can I do to make things right again? My son is no help. He doesn’t go against his wife for any reason. – HEARTBROKEN NANA IN FLORIDA

DEAR NANA: If I read your letter correctly, you stated that your grandchild has had no vaccinations. Nothing to prevent whooping cough, diphtheria, measles, chickenpox or polio. To me, that describes GROSS negligence. Because your henpecked son refuses to step in, you may have to accept there is nothing you or the other grandmother can do to “make things right again.” But the two of you COULD contact child protective services and ask if they agree that what’s happening is negligence.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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