Ask Amy

Friday, July 31, 2009 at 12:00am

DEAR AMY: I am embarrassed to be writing this sort of letter, but I really could use some advice from a non-judgmental third party.

For several years, I have had a relationship with a married man whom I love very much. The problem is that I have reached a point where I can no longer accept the things that are happening.

There are other issues, but I believe that he has been cheating on me, as well.

I have two questions: How do I confront him with my suspicions, and how do I end this affair without any more hurt feelings?

Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

— T

DEAR T: In the absence of more details, I'll weigh in and say that of course you two have "issues." Of course this person is cheating on you.

You can assume he is cheating on you because he's a cheater.

I don't think it's necessary to confront him with your suspicions. You should instead accept that your suspicions are the natural residue of a relationship that is at its core unhealthy.

Then send the guy a candy-gram. Spell it out in nougat: It's o-v-e-r.

Feelings will be hurt — mainly yours, I suspect — but if you take charge of this breakup at least you'll be in control of something, and that's better than waiting for him to ditch you (or worse, to keep this affair going).

This may seem harsh, but the sooner you end this the sooner you can concentrate on figuring out how you got yourself into this jam, what your presence in this relationship has done to his wife (talk about a third party!), and how to avoid it in the future.


DEAR AMY:
My college-age nephew confided in me that he is gay.

I was very surprised. I am OK with his sexuality. It is his own business and no one else's.

My nephew hasn't told his parents, and he isn't sure when he will.

I told him that we all love him just as he is and that this would not matter to anyone, but I don't know that for a fact. I am pretty sure there are family members who would be upset.

As his aunt, am I supposed to talk (confidentially) to my brother and his wife, and ask for their understanding?

Or should I keep my nephew's secret until he is ready to tell them himself?

Generally, I would ask my sisters, mother or husband for advice, but this is just not their business. My instinct is to keep his confession a secret.

As a mother, I would be devastated to know my son told someone else first, and not me. Our family is pretty conservative; he would be the first "out" relative.

Please tell me what is best for my nephew — and my brother; I love them both.

— Anxious Aunt

DEAR AUNT: I agree that this is not your news to disclose, but your nephew came to you for a reason. Why? Perhaps he is starting his process of "coming out" by test-driving the scenario with you first.

He might want for you to advise him or intercede on his behalf with your brother. Do not do so unless he asks you to.

It sounds as if he chose the right person to speak with. Now you two could have another conversation. Tell him that now you've absorbed this news, you wonder if he would like to talk some more. Let him manage this at his own pace.

Be loving and supportive. Ask questions — and listen.


DEAR AMY: I need to say something about your point of view regarding couples struggling with infertility.

I feel you are wrong to suggest that when a couple announces their pregnancy to a couple struggling with infertility, that they should acknowledge the infertility. Please do not do that.

I have been in this situation. In spite of the joy we feel for our friends who are expecting, the pain is raw and we would rather not have that pain acknowledged regardless of how compassionate it is meant.

Don't assume that you understand unless you have been there.

— Been There!

DEAR BEEN THERE: Thank you for sharing your perspective with me — and others.

Send questions to askamy@tribune.com

Filed under: Lifestyles

1 Comment on this post:

By: courier37027 on 7/31/09 at 11:02

Dear T, dating a married man is wrong. Except if you are a waitress dating a retired but married NFL quarterback. Then it would be okay and you would have the blessing of the hometown team's fans.