Be hon­est about man’s in­fi­delity

The Commercial Appeal - - Front Page -

My cousin “Jake” mar­ried our mu­tual friend “Barb” over 20 years ago. He cheated on her of­ten dur­ing the first 10 years of their mar­riage. I knew, but I couldn’t tell her be­cause I would have been os­tra­cized from my fam­ily mem­bers for go­ing be­hind Jake’s back.

Jake and Barb are now divorc­ing for other rea­sons, in­clud­ing his al­co­holism and abu­sive be­hav­ior. She has heard ru­mors about his past cheat­ing and thinks it would help her di­vorce case. Should I con­firm it for her? Or would that turn her against me for not telling her 20 years ago?

— I Hate Cheaters and Fam­ily Se­crets

I would en­cour­age her to speak with her at­tor­ney about whether or not she could ac­tu­ally use her hus­band’s in­fi­delity as sup­port for her case. She’d most likely need ev­i­dence, such as a pho­to­graph or email ex­change, and be­cause this was over 10 years ago, that might pose a chal­lenge for her. Even if she can’t use it in her case, if she’s di­rectly asked you about his in­fi­delity, you have a moral im­per­a­tive to tell her the truth.

Dear I Hate Cheaters and Fam­ily Se­crets:

I wish you had di­rectly ad­dressed the is­sue of home school­ing in your re­sponse to “The Other Grand­mother,” who was up­set her grand­son was be­ing taken out of home school­ing

Dear An­nie: Dear An­nie:

and sent to a school in New York. I was pres­sured highly by my fam­ily to home-school my son. I knew I would be a bad fit, but I gave in to the pres­sure. I was cor­rect in my as­sess­ment, and my son and I had a ter­ri­ble year. It wasn’t that I dis­agreed with home school­ing. But I go to great lengths to give my chil­dren what is best for them, and I just knew I was not ca­pa­ble of giv­ing them the best ed­u­ca­tion. I’m not say­ing that is the rea­son the par­ents took “The Other Grand­mother’s” grand­son out of home school­ing, but it could be. The let­ter didn’t re­ally give a rea­son.

Also, home-school­ing kids with dif­fi­cult be­hav­ioral prob­lems is very tricky. It may very well be that these par­ents are not equipped to help their son. If they’re hav­ing prob­lems dis­ci­plin­ing him at home, what makes this grand­mother think home-school­ing him could make that bet­ter? It very well might make the mat­ter much worse. I think the par­ents could highly ben­e­fit from tak­ing this year and work­ing hard to fig­ure out what they could do to im­prove, as well as hope their child gets the help he needs.

Thank you for shar­ing your ex­pe­ri­ence. The de­ci­sion of whether to home­school chil­dren is in­deed a highly per­sonal one. I en­cour­age par­ents to think long and hard about what’s best for their chil­dren and to re­sist peer pres­sure from friends or rel­a­tives ei­ther way.

Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­nie@cre­ators.com. To find out more about An­nie Lane visit the Cre­ators Syn­di­cate web­site at www. cre­ators.com.

Dear Been There: — Been There

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