Ask Amy

Dear Amy: I have a prob­lem. My wife left me be­cause she couldn’t take life with me any­more. Hon­estly, I don’t blame her. She ba­si­cally stopped talk­ing to me.

The Denver Post - - FEATURES - by Amy Dick­in­son

One day I de­cided to text her from a dif­fer­ent phone num­ber. I pre­tended I was some­one else and she started tex­ting with me, not know­ing that it’s me.

I’m en­joy­ing our con­ver­sa­tion, and so is she. I think she likes the per­son she’s talk­ing to, but it’s me, the per­son she hates.

I can tell she’s fall­ing for this per­son, but I can’t tell her it’s me or she would hate me even more.

It was not my in­ten­tion to have her fall for me as some­one else, and I don’t want to break her heart, so what can I do not to hurt her? I don’t want her to be mad at me.

The stuff I told her as some­one else is all stuff I told her when we were mar­ried, but I guess it sounds dif­fer­ent com­ing from this other per­son. What should I do now? — Scared

Dear Scared: First of all, con­grat­u­la­tions for re­pro­duc­ing the ba­sic plot of many time­less sto­ries — from Shake­speare to “You’ve Got Mail” — in your ac­tual life. To fol­low through on this plot line, in the movie ver­sion, your wife would be se­duced to the point where she (or you) would urge a meet­ing in real life. The meet­ing would be on a bridge. She would see you, you’d em­brace, and she would con­fess that she was hop­ing all along that you were the mys­te­ri­ous per­son at the other end of the texts.

But alas, real life does not work out as neatly as our screen­play would sug­gest. The un­for­tu­nate fact is that what you have done is fraud­u­lent, de­cep­tive and cruel. She will feel ma­nip­u­lated, and she will likely be very up­set.

You should tell the truth now, and do so in the most charm­ing way you can man­age. Ask her to for­give you, and ask if she would be will­ing to do openly what she has been do­ing with your al­ter-ego.

Dear Amy: I am an 18-year-old woman, go­ing into col­lege this fall.

My older sis­ter is go­ing to get mar­ried this Septem­ber. I was go­ing to be a brides­maid, but this all changed when she de­cided that be­cause I wouldn’t al­low her to have her wed­ding the week­ends of my prom or high school grad­u­a­tion she would de­mote me in fa­vor of my step­sis­ters.

Re­cently, I was put to the task of video­tap­ing the wed­ding. I’m fine with this job.

A few days ago my sis­ter called rant­ing about be­ing un­able to af­ford flow­ers for the wed­ding, I re­sponded, ‘If you stopped spend­ing so much money on things like a new flat-screen, cell­phone, and cig­a­rettes, you might be able to af­ford the flow­ers.’ ” She re­sponded with very rude and hurt­ful things. Later, af­ter talk­ing to both my mom and my step­mom, I de­cided to text her and tell her that if she kept up her at­ti­tude, I would be stay­ing at my univer­sity in­stead of com­ing to the wed­ding, and she would have to find an­other des­per­ate sib­ling to video­tape her doomed mar­riage.

She told me that I’m an em­bar­rass­ment to the fam­ily. Was I too harsh, or was I do­ing the right thing? — Re­spon­si­ble Sis­ter

Dear Sis­ter: You and your sis­ter com­mu­ni­cate in a way that could best be called “toxic.” You ac­tu­ally seem fairly proud of the things you’ve said to her, but yes, your state­ments are harsh.

It would be very easy for you to stay on cam­pus and skip this wed­ding, but show­ing up for peo­ple dur­ing mile­stone events is im­por­tant. You know this be­cause you val­ued your own prom and grad­u­a­tion enough not to want your sis­ter’s wed­ding to in­ter­fere.

Dear Amy: “Go­ing Crazy” shared the story of her sex­ual as­sault and abor­tion on Face­book. Fam­ily mem­bers over­re­acted to it.

She should write her fu­ture mother-in-law a good old-fash­ioned letter, thank­ing her for rais­ing such a won­der­ful per­son whose love and sup­port al­lowed her to heal enough to be able to share her trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ence so that other abused women know they are not alone.

It’ll be hard to gos­sip about a re­sponse like that. — Faith­ful Reader Dear Faith­ful Reader: I like it.

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