DEAR ABBY: My husband of three years informed me that he’d had a brief affair and fathered a baby. We worked through it, and I decided to stay in the marriage.
The mother of the child is in a new relationship.
I am 10 years older than my husband and have grown kids. I am not interested in raising any more. I have friends, hobbies, outdoor sports and activities that I enjoy in my free time, and I’m not giving them up. (My husband enjoys these activities, too.)
He told me he plans to have visitation with the baby in our home every other week. I have no objection. In fact, I see it as a perfect opportunity to go on some out-of-towners with my girlfriends. (We plan to yuk it up and enjoy some spa services.)
Abby, my husband hasn’t a clue what to do. He has never even changed a diaper. I told him he will have to learn quickly or adjust his visitation plans because I am not helping him with his baby.
I worked hard while I raised my kids and made all the sacrifices necessary. We have close relationships as adults. We live nearby, and they sometimes accompany me on my adventures. When they have kids of their own, I plan to be an involved grandparent, but I would never expect my husband to give up his weekends to wipe their noses. (He would refuse, by the way. I know this because he has said so.)
His stance on stepparenting is different now because it involves a baby.
I’m wondering if I should stay in the marriage.
TOOK CARE OF MY OWN
DEAR TOOK CARE: That’s a good question. It’s one you might discuss with an attorney to determine what the result will be financially if you exit the marriage. Do nothing in haste.
However, once you have done that, if you are unwilling to disrupt your plans and help your husband with a responsibility that should be solely his, tell him you don’t plan to spend weekends babysitting the result of his careless, adulterous affair.
DEAR ABBY: My family will be expecting me to attend the funeral of a relative who, as few of them know, was an abusive monster.
I want to support the people I love, especially the abuser’s niece, who is very close to me. However, I don’t want to be a hypocrite. I can’t imagine sitting through the service, listening to speeches about what a “wonderful” man he was and accepting condolences.
My absence will undoubtedly generate comments and questions. I have spent many years dealing with the after-effects of his abuse. How should I handle this?
SURVIVOR IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR SURVIVOR: A funeral service may be a way to honor the deceased, but it is also intended to comfort and support the grieving relatives. A way to manage this would be to sit in the back of the room, quietly get up to “visit the bathroom” for most of the eulogizing and return as they are wheeling the “dearly departed” out so you can support the grieving niece by showing her you were there.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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Author: Jeanne Phillips