DEAR ABBY: I found out today that my wife was sexting with a man in another state. His girlfriend sent me a message, which included a series of screenshots. I had confronted my wife regarding this prior to receiving the messages, but she swore she had sent only ONE topless photo and nothing else. After I reviewed the messages, I saw much more.
She claims “she doesn’t remember everything,” which I find hard to believe. Worse, they had planned to meet. She claims she didn’t, but I saw a message saying that once I went back home (we were visiting her parents), she would stay an extra week with our son so he could “spend more time with the grandparents” — and she could maneuver to meet up with him. She claims she didn’t, but I can’t believe her based upon her lying repeatedly about this.
We have a child together, so I don’t want to walk away, but I’m deeply hurt and no longer trust her. I know you will recommend marriage counseling, but beyond that process, is there anything I should do? — LOST IN THE EAST
DEAR LOST: Has your wife always been this way, or is this behavior something new? She seems to be severely allergic to the truth. By all means, attempt marriage counseling if she is willing. However, if she isn’t willing, have some counseling without her. And start interviewing attorneys to represent you in what is likely to be a divorce. Without trust, there can be no marriage.
P.S. Save those messages and images the girlfriend sent you because they could come in handy.
DEAR ABBY: I’m 59 and the oldest of four children. When we were kids, our parents were raging alcoholics. They smoked pot and were barely functioning adults. As the oldest, I was tasked with caring for and raising the other three, which I did to protect them from my parents’ nonsense.
We were never close to our parents. Our father passed some years ago, which left our mom, who continued to live her booze-filled life. She was a terrible mother. She never protected us from my father’s verbal and physical abuse. My brother still has nightmares about him.
Now that our mother has dementia, my siblings make a lot of effort to spend time with her. I refuse to have anything to do with her. My sisters say I should make amends because she won’t live forever. I have made my peace with it all, and I’m fine without what I never had.
My siblings think I should “just get over it” because she can’t remember anything. Because she can’t remember doesn’t negate the fact that it happened. I’ve had a fantastic life and family without her being part of it. I’m truly happy. Am I wrong for standing strong on my decision? — RESOLUTE IN FLORIDA
DEAR RESOLUTE: Because your mother can no longer remember what a failure she was as a parent doesn’t mean you must magically forget. She has reached a point where she is beyond any help you can give her. Now it’s time to take care of yourself. If you feel it’s better to stand strong on your decision, do not allow yourself to be guilted into doing otherwise.
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.