All News & Blogs
Dear Carolyn: Is it normal, understandable, forgivable to have conflicting feelings toward your father and his (second) wife, when their relationship started while your father was married to your mother? And your mother kind of fell apart after the separation to the point where she is no longer the same? (She went from young, hip, beautiful and socially active to depressed, obese, disabled, isolated.) My dad has now been married to his current wife for 25 years. And can they expect me to celebrate their anniversary, and when I don't--by not signing a card --tell me I'm no longer welcome in their home if I don't apologize? --S.
They "can" do what they want, even if it's needlessly punitive. And while your conflicted feelings are understandable, I don't see why you'd want to embrace so fully your family's emotional signature, which apparently is to build your lives around every affront. Your mom did it with such gusto that she lost herself to it; your dad is doing it now over the card; and you're into your second quarter-century of doing it over the bad (unchangeable) timing of the second wife.
It is within your power to decide you've been angry long enough. Speaking of:
Dear Carolyn: My boyfriend left me for someone he met while we were together. They had socialized frequently in a group setting while we were a couple, and I had no idea. (The kicker: He says it wasn't cheating!)
I don't think the new girl has any idea she helped to break up our relationship because she never knew I existed. Should I contact her to tell her? If I don't, she'll never know. It's (mostly) not about revenge; I hate seeing someone get away with something like this. --Fair to Blow Whistle?