Dear Amy: My husband died a few months ago. He was highly respected. Everyone thought a lot about him.
We were married for over 50 years and had three children.
About 40 years ago, he had worked with a woman who lived in another city. He and other colleagues would travel to her town to work.
I was at a awards dinner in honor of them. The day before dinner he was in the shower and the phone rang in our hotel room. When I answered, the person at the other end called me by the other woman’s name.
My husband said the person knew they were working together and must have assumed she was there before she left for dinner.
Shortly after, there were a few other incidents that made me suspicious.
A few weeks went by and he said he would not work with her anymore because he was starting to get feelings for her.
I took up all my suspicions and accused him of having an affair. He got upset and told me that nothing had ever happened between them.
I was not able to forget.
I’ve always wondered why he told me he had feelings for her. He could have just stopped working with her and I would not have known.
We stayed together for 40 more years, but I could never completely forgive him.
Now that he’s dead, I’ve been thinking about this more than ever.
Other than that, he was the perfect husband and father.
Do you think I’m using this as a reason not to grieve?
Dear Stuck: Your theory of why you are stuck may be correct. In addition, my view is that you may now (unconsciously) justify your inability or unwillingness to forgive your husband over the course of 40 years – and so you double down and ponder it now.
His hospitalization a long time ago would have been very difficult for you to take, but it seems to me that he did everything he should have done: he was honest with you, he stopped working with her, he continued in the marriage with you.
I believe you would find some liberation now if you worked your way toward forgiveness – to forgive him for his transgression, as well as yourself for holding on to this so hard.
We humans are plagued with complications and fragility. We hurt each other. The ability to forgive is such a gift. I hope you can give it to yourself now.
A grief group or therapist can help you address this.
Dear Amy: My wife and I have been married twice to each other. Our first marriage lasted for 28 years. We remarried three years ago.
The reason for the first divorce was that she was unfaithful to me with my best friend. This continued for years and I tolerated it until my children grew up before moving on.
After two years of being single, I decided to return to my wife because my daughter was getting married and I have always wanted a family life.
My wife is unfaithful again – at least four times as far as I know.
She is otherwise a really nice person and we never fight.
I am a healthy person, sexually and mentally, but the mental abuse of this cheat is not easy for me.
What do I do now?
Dear family father: You could try having an “open” marriage where you and your wife remain legally married and continue to live together, but both are free to have external relationships.
It may not be sustainable for you – in that case you can divorce again, but continue in a family and friendship relationship with this woman you have chosen to marry twice.
You obviously like her, but she obviously will not be in a monogamous relationship with you.
Dear Amy: “Discouraged Dater” expects dates to text her.
I’m the mother of three young men and they just do not seem to find women who do not want to text all day long – 24/7.
They actually have jobs that they need to work in, but these needy professional women want to be hooked on the hip as soon as they meet.
It seems to me that if you chat all day long, then why bother taking you along; there is probably nothing left to say.
Dear confused: Thank you for offering this perspective.
You can email Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.