Ask Amy

Los Angeles Times - - CALENDAR - askamy@ amy­dick­in­son.com

Dear Amy: I am very close with my old­est sis­ter. Her daugh­ter is plan­ning to marry a woman many years younger than she.

I don’t be­lieve in same­sex wed­dings, nor do I have any de­sire to at­tend this wed­ding. My chil­dren feel the same way.

The wed­ding is out of town, with many ex­penses in­volved. I hate to travel and have many obli­ga­tions in town, in­clud­ing own­ing a busi­ness.

Amy, my sis­ter is not tak­ing “No” for an an­swer!

How do I get out of this wed­ding without cre­at­ing a rift in our re­la­tion­ship? Want to Stay Peace­ful

Dear Want: I gather that you have al­ready of­fered up all of your var­i­ous ex­cuses, and so now all you have left is the truth: You don’t want to go to this wed­ding be­cause you refuse to at­tend a same­sex wed­ding cer­e­mony.

And so first, a pub­lic service an­nounce­ment about ex­cuses: When you make one, you re­ally need to com­mit to it. Lean in! Think Al Pa­cino in “Scent of a Woman,” or Meryl Streep in, well, any­thing.

Be­cause you seem to be throw­ing var­i­ous ex­cuses at the wall in hopes that one will stick, I’m con­clud­ing — and your sis­ter will too — that you are flail­ing around, try­ing to ob­scure your own truth, which is that you hold a par­tic­u­lar prej­u­dice, but you seem too em­bar­rassed to own it.

Be­cause this is your truth, and be­cause your beloved sis­ter’s truth is that she loves and ac­cepts her daugh­ter, there is no way you can get out of this wed­ding without cre­at­ing a rift.

You can only hope that your sis­ter is more tol­er­ant of your truth than you are of hers, and that she will for­give you.

Dear Amy: My wife and I have been to­gether for 15 years. About four years ago she had an af­fair. I con­tinue to be af­fected by it, even though I have had ther­apy and time to heal.

Re­cently, I had been hav­ing a few bad weeks and, ad­mit­tedly, was not do­ing the best job at be­ing a hus­band.

Dur­ing this time, my wife started a new af­fair, and this has helped me to re­al­ize once and for all that she isn’t right for me.

We have two young chil­dren (9 and 6). I have told her that be­cause of her lack of re­spect for me, as well as this new per­son’s lack of re­spect for our mar­riage, I do not want to have a re­la­tion­ship on any level with her, if she chooses to con­tinue with this af­fair.

Af­ter two af­fairs I be­lieve I have the right to have my feel­ings re­spected. Am I wrong? Two Af­fairs to Re­mem­ber

Dear Two: You will al­ways have to have a re­la­tion­ship with the woman you mar­ried be­cause she is the mother of your chil­dren.

Your rage and sense of be­trayal is right­eous, nor­mal and un­der­stand­able. Yes, you have a right for your feel­ings to be re­spected.

Your wife’s in­fi­delity seems ha­bit­ual at this point, and now it is your turn to de­cide if you want to try to save the mar­riage, yet again, or get a lawyer to re­view your op­tions re­gard­ing leav­ing the mar­riage.

You will feel some­what em­pow­ered if you take charge of your own choices, re­gard­less of what she de­cides to do. Start by check­ing in with your ther­a­pist. Be good and kind to your­self and your chil­dren, and don’t be­have to­ward your wife in a way you might re­gret later. Her ac­tions are re­gret­table; yours don’t have to be.

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