The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY)

How do I make it right after cheating on my boyfriend?


DEAR ANNIE >> My boyfriend and

I have been together for six years now. Two years ago, I cheated on him, and he found out shortly after when he looked at my phone and saw that I was texting the other guy. At the time, I panicked and said that my best friend, “Deb,” had been using my phone. I then reached out to Deb and begged her to cover for me and lie if my boyfriend asked her about it. She did, and he bought the excuse. But a few weeks later, I confessed the truth to him, including the fact that Deb had covered up for me. We’ve been trying to work past this ever since. I feel awful about my infidelity. It has affected me in ways I never thought it would, just as I know it’s affected him very deeply, too. It worsened my depression and anxiety.

On top of the shame I feel for cheating, I have been unable to spend as much time as I’d like with Deb. My boyfriend wants nothing to do with her. Anytime she comes up in conversati­on, he says that she’s fake or a liar. He refuses to hang out with her. This woman has been my best friend for 23 years, and she’s very important to me. But he hates it when I spend time with her.

I know that this is all my fault. Annie, what can I do to make it right?

— Regretful Girlfriend

DEAR REGRETFUL >> It sounds as though your boyfriend has some unresolved feelings over your cheating and he’s taking them out on your friend. If you really care about each other, enlist the help of a couples therapist to work through these issues in a healthy way. Otherwise, you’ll forever feel guilty; he’ll forever feel angry; and the two of you will rack up toxic levels of resentment.

DEAR ANNIE >> Your advice to “Believe in Love” was spot on as far as “being single is better than being with someone who doesn’t want you.”

When on the receiving end of a breakup, it can be hard to understand how your ex can move on so quickly, and we start to overanalyz­e every little thing that may or may not have contribute­d to the breakup. “Believe in Love” said, “He’s turned to stone and has no remorse.” She also asks, “How did this man forget me so quickly?”

It’s important to realize the process, for him, started long before he actually spoke the words. It could have been something he’d been thinking about for months, planning the how and where he would break up with her. And all that while, he’s been disengagin­g emotionall­y and mentally. That is why he has moved on quickly, because the process for him started a long time ago.

— Stuart I.

DEAR STUART >> Astute point. And having that context might make it just a little bit easier for the one broken up with to accept.

DEAR ANNIE >> Using the word “lost” for someone who has died is a word that we learned not to use in our bereavemen­t group. Our loved ones are not lost. It makes a grieving family member have a very negative emotion.

— Daphne K., Vancouver,


DEAR DAPHNE >> The phrasing is so automatic that I’d never given much considerat­ion to its connotatio­ns. I really appreciate your bringing it to my attention, and it’s something I’ll be more cognizant of in the future.

DEAR ANNIE >> I have been working at the same company for 12 years, and I haven’t gotten a raise in five years. I never got in the habit of asking for them, because they used to give me a small salary bump every other year. But that petered out when a new CEO took over.

A few months ago, I was at lunch with two co-workers when the subject of salaries came up. I asked them if they’d received any pay bumps in the past few years, and they both said that they had. This gave me the guts I needed to ask my supervisor to meet with me. I presented a list of my accomplish­ments over the past four years and said that I believed I had earned a raise. He said that pretty much no one was getting raises anymore, at which point I tentativel­y mentioned (without naming names) that I’d heard some other employees had received raises. He got visibly angry and told me that I should never discuss my salary with another employee at the company and asked me to leave his office immediatel­y. After that, I dropped the issue. But now I’m wishing I’d pushed back and am considerin­g asking him for another meeting. Am I crazy?

— Taken for Granted

DEAR TAKEN >> It’s a violation of the National Labor Relations Act for employers to forbid employees from discussing their wages. Contact the National Labor Relations Board at 1-844-762-6572 for guidance on what recourse you may have. Whatever comes of that, it might be time to dust off that resume. Because, beyond being illegal, your boss’s behavior is just plain old disrespect­ful. You’d be better off working for a company that recognizes your worth.

“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http:// www.creatorspu­blishing. com for more informatio­n. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@

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