Los Angeles Times

Therapy can ease the hurt

- Email questions to Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickins­on.com.

Dear Amy: My husband had an affair eight years ago, but it feels like I found out yesterday. I hurt every day.

I filed for divorce when I found out. He begged for a second chance and ended the affair, and I took him back.

When I want to talk about my feelings, it ends up in a fight, with him saying that I should be over it and that he’s not the same person.

I have so much anger that I am wondering if counseling would help me deal with my issues, or if it’s even possible to move on from this. What do you think?



Dear Hurting: Counseling could help both of you to recover from this betrayal. Discussing this might lead you to unpack aspects of other relationsh­ips, going back through time.

A well-matched therapist will guide you, and you will come to understand that you can actually feel your negative feelings and emotions, then release them.

This episode has engulfed many years of your life. It sits as a wedge in your marriage, interferin­g with your ability to regain intimacy and trust.

Your husband’s reaction to your attempts to discuss this is unkind and unfair. He may be responding to his own fear of facing accusation­s; for you, discussing your feelings, and perhaps hearing an acknowledg­ment and a bid for forgivenes­s, would help you to heal.

If he expects you to “get over it,” he should be brave enough to be with you every step of the way.

But you cannot count on your husband to respond in any particular way. Therapy can help you to recognize this reality — and face it.

There are many books relating to healing from an affair. My experience taught me that after the anger and sadness, forgivenes­s would be my liberating path.

Dear Amy: On several occasions I loaned my former co-worker “Cal” a portable oxygen concentrat­or that was my late husband’s.

Cal’s wife requires nearly full-time oxygen use. The concentrat­or makes her trips to visit family easier than hauling canisters, which is the only alternativ­e her insurance provides.

It also enables her to fly, as canisters are mostly prohibited by airlines.

The last time he borrowed it was six months ago. I had forgotten about it but texted him a couple of months ago to check in.

Before I could mention it, he apologized for not contacting me and asked if his wife could use it one more time the following week, and then he would bring it back. I said of course. That was the last time I heard from him.

I am disappoint­ed in this person and feel he has just decided to keep the concentrat­or unless I specifical­ly demand he return it. I don’t need it and had actually considered giving it to him when he first asked to borrow it. Should I just let it go? I guess I am mostly disappoint­ed that someone who pretended to be a friend is apparently a user.


Dear Upset: “Cal” has a lot on his plate. Helping to care for someone on oxygen is a heavy lift, as you know.

Just as you had forgotten you had loaned this item to Cal, isn’t it possible that returning it slipped his mind?

I suggest you offer to sell the concentrat­or to him at a reasonable price or give it to him. Doing so would make you both feel better.

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