Dear Amy: My husband passed away about two months ago. While going through his desk after his death I discovered he was having an affair. I learned that she, too, is married.
I stopped grieving immediately and became angry. I want to let the other woman’s husband know about this, but my friends and children say I should just let it go. But these two were up to no good.
The deeds to our house are missing; my Social Security card is missing. I have a lawyer and I’m doing all that should be done.
I want revenge and my question is: Is that so bad?
In your opinion, what would be the best thing to do? How would you go about informing the other spouse?
Amy says: No one can tell you how to grieve, and no one can force you to let something go. But — you may not realize this — anger is very much a part of the grief process.
Investigate and replace any missing documents. Make sure your property and bank accounts are all accounted for.
In terms of contacting this mistress’ husband, you need to ask yourself: “What outcome do I want?” and “What good would this do?”
This disclosure would not bring your husband back to life so that you can ruin it for him. It would more likely hurt the husband (and perhaps not the wife).
It might not have much of an impact at all.
If you search your soul and are absolutely convinced that it would make you feel better to notify this husband of his wife’s infidelity, then you should wait two months — circle a date on your calendar. If I were you, I’d handle this in writing. You can create a draft and continue to revise it until it says exactly what you want it to say.
Nothing you do will change the past. You’ve likely heard the aphorism, “Living well is the best revenge.” In your case, merely “living” should be all the revenge you need. And in that regard, you’ve already won. You’re here. He’s not.
Wedding guest woes
Dear Amy: My niece (whom I am not very close to) has decided to have a destination wedding.
My sister has made it very clear that she expects me and my family to attend. If we don’t, she will be very hurt and likely hold this against us forever. I don’t think my niece will care too much one way or the other.
The cost of travel will come out to around $4,000. While we can afford this (which my sister knows), we are careful with our money, and this is not how we would choose to spend such a large amount.
We will also have to use a significant amount of vacation time from work to attend. We would rather take a different vacation.
My other siblings feel resentful, but they have decided to go to the wedding. Can you think of any graceful way we can get out of this situation without alienating my sister?
Amy says: Your sister has played the sister card and she is telling you quite clearly what the consequences will be if you don’t attend. There is no graceful way around it, so you’ll just have to calmly dive in and expect your sister to be upset.
You are determined not to go, so let the couple know well in advance and send them a warmly worded note and a nice gift. Do not offer up excuses (excuses make things worse). Assume your sister will be angry and hurt, but invite her to tell you about the wedding and show you photos afterward. You aren’t responsible for her feelings, but you are responsible for your own choices. So own it.
Fluff on Facebook
Dear Amy: “Jealous in Jersey” was upset over her cousin’s wonderful life, reflected through Facebook posts. Doesn’t she realize that people tend to exaggerate and gloss over their lives on social networks? Her cousin’s exotic vacations could well reflect a journey into debt.
Amy says: Definitely. Thank you.
Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.