Question: About six months ago I made a very big mistake: I had a two-week affair. I made many excuses for myself but it was wrong and I hurt my wife very badly. She has accepted that I committed this sin and has welcomed me back. We have put our life back together. I nearly threw away 10 years of marriage.
My wife loves your radio show and has read "Ten Stupid Things Women Do To Mess Up Their Lives." I subscribe to your newsletter. You are a very important part of our lives.My 9-year-old daughter has asked my wife and myself many times why she can no longer play with the daughter of the lady I had the affair with. We don't know what to tell her.
- Santee, Calif.
Dr. Laura: Believe it or not, I received a letter, apparently from your wife:
"Six months ago my husband had a two-week fling. When I found out about it, I was crushed. We have been married 10 years and have three children: 9, 8, and 10 months. (The 10-month-old comes to work with me). I thought I could never trust him again, and yes, I still have doubts. But basically, we have put our life back together. He is a wonderful husband and is trying to make it up to me.
"There were many times I would sit at work and listen to your show and cry and cry over callers who had had affairs. The big question is `How do I get over the pain?' Well, I guess you really don't - but it does get easier."
She then continues with the problem of the children all going to the same school and wanting to play with each other.
I don't think you should keep the children from playing; they are the innocents in this situation. Sleepovers and such are probably not a good idea since it would require the "adults" to accept a certain level of trust, responsibility and communication.
I suggest that your wife talk with the other woman, clarifying the ground rules (no association with you) to ensure that the present situation not escalate into ugliness that will hurt the kids, or revert back to an affair, which would hurt the kids and your wife and your soul.
Question: I am to marry a wonderful man in July. I am Jewish and he is not, though he is considering conversion. However, we have decided to have a Jewish ceremony and to raise our children in the Jewish faith. We are limiting the guest list to first cousins only. My future mother-in-law wants to invite a first cousin who is known to her and the rest of the family to be very anti-Semitic.
I told her I do not want the threat of any ugly thoughts or words being said at out wedding, and that it would be insulting to my parents to pay to entertain this man. I know what is morally right here and have expressed my opinion to her. Should I now tell my parents and let them handle it, or continue to be the awful future daughter-in-law and tell her under no circumstances will this man be at our wedding?
- Atlanta, Ga.
Dr. Laura: I can't imagine that someone who really "hates Jews" would show up anyway. Many people have knee-jerk prejudices without first-hand experiences. Inviting these folks would give them the opportunity to experience something loving and lovely in the wedding rituals, as well as put real faces onto their faceless prejudices.
Question: My wife and I have been married for about five years and I love her very much. Recently, I have noticed that she has been making comments about other men. These range from "good looking" to "look at THAT body." The scary part is the emotion she puts into these comments. How should I handle this situation?
- Appleton, Wis.
Dr. Laura: I'm afraid that when this behavior, whether done by a man or a woman, is frequent or continuous, it is done with the intention of hurting the spouse. Disdain and hostility, and a juicy ability to be mean are usually at the center.
However, keeping to the particular moment when this occurs: "Honey, he may be a hunk, but he, unlike me, doesn't care whether you live or die, nor does he care about your feelings, needs and happiness - nor would he be happy with you pointing hungrily at some other hard body."