Mar­riage re­cov­ers from af­fair but wife can’t for­give her­self

The Amherst News - - PUZZLES/ADVICE - Abi­gail Van Buren Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips.

DEAR ABBY: About 12 years ago, I made a ter­ri­ble mis­take and had an af­fair. My hus­band loved me enough to for­give me, and our mar­riage has been fine ever since.

The prob­lem is, I can’t for­give my­self. I hate my­self! I could have lost ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing our two kids. I think of all the time I wasted when I could have shared that time with them, and I beat my­self up daily over this.

I have been de­pressed for so long. How do I get over this? I’m on meds, but it’s deeper than that. I feel I have a seat wait­ing in hell be­cause of it. So -- no chance for heaven -- what’s the point in try­ing to be happy?

I can’t af­ford coun­sel­ing, and I don’t have a priest to talk to. Is there some kind of coun­sel­ing group on­line I could join? -- MIS­ER­ABLE IN COLORADO

DEAR MIS­ER­ABLE: It ap­pears that, not sat­is­fied with wait­ing for hell in the here­after, you have man­aged to cre­ate one for your­self right here on Earth. As far as I know, there’s no “Jezebels Anony­mous” sup­port group.

It would be ap­pro­pri­ate to find a

priest who could give you ab­so­lu­tion. How­ever, be­cause there isn’t one and it ap­pears you’re hav­ing a cri­sis of the soul, con­fide in a mem­ber of the clergy of an­other faith, if there’s one nearby. Trust me, it won’t be the first time he or she has heard a story like yours, and it may bring you com­fort.

DEAR ABBY:

I have a fear of “threes.” My brother, whom I never met, died at 3 months be­cause he had a hole in his heart. My dad died at 43, the day be­fore his 44th birth­day. My other brother also died at the age of 43. Mom died in the third month (March) when she was 63 years old, and that’s just im­me­di­ate fam­ily. Other fam­ily mem­bers and a cou­ple of friends also had the num­ber three con­nected to their un­timely deaths.

When­ever the num­ber three comes up, it drives me crazy. I just turned 40 and was mis­er­able dur­ing my 30s, an­tic­i­pat­ing that I would be next. I’m sure I’ll be fine for an­other two years, but know­ing my dad and brother died at 43 will make me fear­ful for the whole year. Am I cursed? -- NUM­BERS PHO­BIA

DEAR NUM­BERS PHO­BIA: You have ex­pe­ri­enced more loss in your life than the av­er­age per­son. For that I can only of­fer my sym­pa­thy. How­ever, you are view­ing this the wrong way. Three isn’t YOUR un­lucky num­ber -- it was the un­lucky num­ber of the peo­ple who DIED. Be­cause a par­tic­u­lar fate be­falls some­one close does not guar­an­tee the same mis­for­tune will hap­pen to you. Please, en­joy the life you are given to the fullest ev­ery day and stop di­min­ish­ing your qual­ity of life with mor­bid thoughts. It is your neg­a­tive think­ing that’s the curse, and noth­ing more.

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