Q: I made a big mistake three years ago. When I found out my husband was cheating on me, I became vengeful. I ended up sleeping with my sister-in-law’s boyfriend to get back at my husband and at her for some things she did in the past. It took my pain away, for a bit.
Abby, I am not this kind of person. I’m not an evil, conniving tramp. I regret what I did every day, and I feel like garbage.
My sister-in-law and I haven’t spoken since I decided to tell her the truth. My husband and I (miraculously) were able to work through our problems, and our relationship is stronger than ever. My sister-in-law and her boyfriend have remained together, and I don’t speak to him anymore either.
What can I do to earn forgiveness? Is this even forgivable? How can I mend this family I helped tear apart? — Only Human in Houston
A: You might start by apologizing to your sister-in-law for the pain you caused her. But after that, the decision about whether she can forgive you or wants anything more to do with you will be up to her.
Q: My granddaughter, “Becca,” just turned 6. One of her favorite things to do is role-play, which includes the prince (me) kissing her, sometimes at the end of a wedding ceremony. Becca also likes to sit on my lap.
My wife thinks I shouldn’t allow her to sit there and that the interaction isn’t appropriate. She says I may be mistaken for some kind of predator. It hurts me and Becca when I tell her we must find some other playtime scenario. I think it’s harmless.
Who’s right here? My wife or me? Is there an age a granddaughter reaches when this kind of interaction becomes taboo? What about giving her a goodbye kiss when she departs? — Baffled Grandpa in El Paso
A: Do Becca’s parents agree with your wife? I would be more concerned with whether they consider your playing Prince Charming to be inappropriate. At 6, I see no harm in it. When Becca is 8 or 9, your wife may have a point. Of course, by then she may prefer to be Supergirl rather than a princess and have other objectives than being a bride.
As to kissing your granddaughter hello or goodbye, that’s perfectly appropriate regardless of her age. And when you do, I seriously doubt anyone will mistake you for a predator.
Q: I married the woman of my dreams two months ago. I asked my father to be my best man and he accepted, but he didn’t fulfill his duties. There was no bachelor party, no best man speech, and he and my mother left the reception after only an hour. I was hurt and disappointed.
I have avoided talking to him since. Should I tell him how much he hurt me, or just try to forgive and forget? — Let-Down Groom in Macon, Ga.
A: I vote for doing both, if you can. When your father accepted the invitation, he may not have understood that being your best man would involve more than standing beside you at the altar. Why he and your mother would leave the reception early is puzzling, but it may have meant that for some reason they felt uncomfortable there. You need to explore that.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.