Annie’s Mailbox: Husband had affair 30 years ago |

Annie’s Mailbox: Husband had affair 30 years ago

Dear Annie: I am a 64-year-old woman, and my husband is 65. We have been together for 45 years. Until recently, I thought we had the perfect marriage. However, when he became seriously ill and thought he might die, he confessed to an affair 30 years ago. He was traveling on business and had drinks with a woman who wanted to see the company apartment, and, well, one thing led to another. Apparently, it happened again two nights later. He said he broke it off then because he didn’t want to cheat on his wife and feared losing me along with his family.

Of course, this blew me away, and I had all kinds of questions. I wanted all the details. To me, it is like it happened yesterday. I’m crushed that he never told me, because for 45 years, I thought we shared everything.

I’m really having a hard time getting past this. He keeps saying he was young, drinking and stupid. I know he loves me. How do I move on?

— Crushed

Dear Crushed: These deathbed confessions may clear someone’s conscience, but they often leave the listeners with a horrible emotional burden. Fortunately, your husband is still alive and you have the opportunity to resolve his heartbreaking revelation.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Keep in mind that for him, the affair is ancient history. For you, however, it just happened, and you are re-evaluating your married life as if it contains false memories. It does not. Your husband valued his wife and marriage more than the transient thrill of an affair. It is natural for you to need some time to forgive him and let it go, but we are confident that you can do this. If you need help, some short-term counseling will provide it.

Dear Annie: Please settle an old argument between my sister and me. When invited to a party, be it birthday, anniversary, wedding, etc., if you will not be attending, are you obligated to send a gift?

I say no, and she says you must send a gift because you have been invited.

Thank you.

— Two Sisters

Dear Sisters: If you do not attend the event, you are not obligated to give a gift. However, for close friends and family members, most people send a gift regardless. It is a gracious gesture that preserves the special quality of the relationship. (This is particularly true with wedding presents.) When in doubt, we say you can’t go wrong sending a gift.

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