Annie’s Mailbox: Woman can’t forgive sister’s betrayal
August 26, 2010
Dear Annie: I have three sisters, but the one who was my best friend in the whole world was "Michele."
Nine years ago, I found Michele and my husband of 19 years in bed together. They both said, "It's not what you think," but really, Annie, they were both naked in the bed. There was no mistaking what they were doing.
I lost both my sister and my husband in one day, and I haven't spoken to either of them since. My ex-husband moved out of state, but I cannot look at Michele without feeling betrayed.
For nine years, my mother has been after me to forgive and forget. Am I wrong for still holding a grudge?
Michele sees my daughters and tells them she misses me, and my kids are friendly with her children. They say she gets drunk and cries all the time.
But I simply cannot be around her. She is dead to me. Should I forgive and forget?
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— Hurt and Confused
Dear Hurt: Has Michele apologized to you for her terrible behavior? Do you miss having her in your life?
Michele sounds remorseful, but without a direct apology, the rift cannot heal. And if she has an alcohol problem, it could partially explain her self-destructive behavior, although it's no excuse.
Hanging onto bitterness and anger hurts you, as well as Michele. Please examine your feelings and decide if you'd like a repaired relationship.
If so, working on forgiveness can be worthwhile. (Forgetting is probably unrealistic.) We recommend having a neutral third party, such as a clergyperson or counselor, act as a mediator if you decide to try.
Dear Annie: After 13 years with the man I love, we found we are pregnant. We are ecstatic! My pregnancy is high risk, and my doctor has ordered me not to lift anything over five pounds. He also is limiting exercise.
I'm now five months along. The problem is, I am getting rude comments about my weight from friends, family and co-workers.
Last week, a lady at church commented on how I need to be careful because I'm getting "way too big." My mother-in-law said she's concerned I'm eating too much.
Annie, I'm watching my diet closely because I cannot exercise. I have gained 16 pounds, all belly weight, and my doctor says it's fine. My doctor also said the reason I look large is partially due to the fact that I am very short.
Please remind your readers that it's never OK to comment on a woman's weight, especially when she's pregnant.
— Not Fat
Dear Not: We marvel at the audacity of people who think they are entitled to voice their opinion about anyone's size, particularly that of a pregnant woman.
The polite response is, "Thank you for your opinion. I'm happy to give you my doctor's phone number if you want to discuss it with him."
Dear Annie: You printed a letter from "Washington," whose boyfriend has two sisters who are overweight and have odor problems.
When people become obese, they discover they can no longer reach certain body parts. For many, this is the cause of bad odor.
Companies sell appliances that extend one's reach. Your reader might want to make a gift of these arm extensions to her boyfriend's sisters. She could also offer to help them with their bathing.
When a person is obese, it is refreshing to be able to get clean, and it can be nearly impossible to clean yourself. Hope this helps.
— Been Heavy in Florida
Dear Florida: We cannot imagine anyone giving her boyfriend's sisters such a gift, nor offering to help with their bathing.
It could be quite offensive to them. But we appreciate your letting our readers know that such items are available.