Ask Amy: My dad blew up and called my boyfriend’s wife, and now everything’s a mess

Ask Amy: My dad blew up and called my boyfriend’s wife, and now everything’s a mess

Dear Amy: I am involved in a very messy situation. I had an affair with a married man 33 years older (I am 25, he is 58).

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Ask Amy: I saw your column and I suddenly knew I had to leave my husband

I didn’t go out looking for it, but one thing led to another.

He’d been having marital problems for several years. He described his wife as being a good person but someone who is a spectator in life rather than a participant.

They are like housemates who sometimes have sex, but there is zero affection. He told me she had several mental health issues, and she also was an alcoholic.

I felt we were both giving each other what we both were lacking: love, connection, excitement. He said he wanted to marry me.

Subsequently, my parents found out. (Even though I’m 25, I’m still living at home.)

My dad lost it and called both him and his wife. He told her everything. She then phoned me. It became very messy.

I also found out (from her) that he hadn’t necessarily told the truth about her.

He and I said we’d take a break because there is just too much drama.

I am really heartbroken at how things turned out and over my parents meddling in my life the way they did.

I wanted more time with him. I am sorry his wife found out, because I didn’t want her to be hurt.

I am not a bad person, I never sought an affair, but I grew to love this man. I’m sorry that finding out about this has caused his wife to be hurt.

I don’t know what to do going forward. I just feel I can’t let him go.

— Sad and Struggling

Dear Sad: I assume the insight that you have “Daddy issues” has already occurred to you. If not — ponder it now.

You have two older men controlling, disrespecting and betraying you.

You seem to be something of a spectator in your own life, but regarding your choices, here’s a note: People do get hurt, even when you don’t mean to hurt them. (Your affair would have hurt this man’s wife even if she hadn’t found out about it.)

It is genuinely painful and heartbreaking to end your first serious relationship. I can only imagine how you might be feeling about your father’s choice to out you and interfere the way he has.

I think a first step for you should be to move away from your father’s orbit, at least for now. Perhaps you could stay with a supportive friend or family member while you look for other housing.

It is important right now to step into your own future one day at a time, in order not to be overwhelmed. Stay away from your affair partner and try to accept this as a painful lesson of adulthood.

Therapy would help you to put these events into perspective.

Dear Amy: My husband and I are atheists. We are getting some pushback from family members because we have decided not to celebrate Christmas.

We have a young child who seemed a little confused about why Santa wasn’t going to visit our house, but we don’t want to push religious messages in our household.

We’d like a second (really a sixth or seventh) opinion.

— Atheist Parents

Dear Parents: For many people, Christmas is more a commercial celebration than a religious one. If you wanted to, it would be possible to do the whole Christmas shebang without ever delving into any Christian thought or belief. (Yes, most of us know that Saint Nicholas was a Christian saint, but Santa Claus is a jolly reindeer pilot.)

And you don’t have to welcome Santa into your household to enjoy your own traditions at Christmastime, based more around the winter solstice than Jesus’ birth. You could research worldwide winter celebrations, and design your own.

Bringing light, laughter and the joys of baking and decorating into the household when the days are short and the nights long and dark is a great way to celebrate the passing of the seasons.

Dear Amy: I saw myself in the question from “No Messy Feelings Allowed,” who was so bothered when her friend jumped in with solutions to her problems.

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Harriette Cole: Why is this kid a bully? Here’s a clue, Mom.

I am that person who tends to offer lots of solutions. This made me consider how it might feel to be peppered with “answers” when you haven’t asked any questions.

I am going to try to be a more active listener and a less active talker.

— Grateful

Dear Grateful: This is a useful idea for everyone.

You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.