Q: I work for a court, and while I was at work the bailiff informed me he had civil papers to serve on my husband. When I called my husband to tell him, he sounded scared that I knew about it. When I dug a little deeper, I found out they were child support papers from a woman he’d had an affair with. He has been wiring her money behind my back for two years.
Abby, I have been with this man for 12 years. I had suspected affairs before, but he always came up with convincing answers and fooled me into thinking it was nothing. I guess I’m naive —– or him being a cop has taught him how to lie and cleverly manipulate.
I have two children, and of course I left him. I haven’t told my son why I divorced his dad because I don’t want him to have a bad opinion of him.
I need advice. I’m now struggling and barely making ends meet. My son is mad at me because I can’t fix my relationship with his father. We are having a hard time, but my ex isn’t. He’s living it up while staying with relatives. He cancels visits with his son at the last minute to spend time with other women.
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I try not to get angry, because no matter how I’m hurting I know I’m better off without him. How do I let the anger go? Romantically, I feel I have moved on, but another part of me feels he should suffer too. — Angry in the South
A: Nobody likes to be played for a fool, and you wouldn’t be human if you didn’t have these feelings. However, resist the temptation to be vengeful. Your ex may suffer when your son is old enough to realize that he can’t count on his dad to keep his word or be there for him. Bide your time. While you shouldn’t poison the children against him, do let them draw their own conclusions.
Q: Ten years ago, while I was still in college, I dated and fell in love with a married man I’ll call “Jon.” The split was messy in the end, but since then we have had our closure and moved on with our lives: divorce for him, and marriage for me.
I recently learned that Jon may be taking a position in my small company (only nine people). I believe we can be cordial, but should I approach the subject with him, or pretend it never happened? Do I tell my husband (who knows about the affair) that Jon will be working with me, or keep quiet? — Conflicted in California
A: Of course you tell your husband. If you don’t and he finds out Jon will be working with you, he will assume that you had something to hide. As to bringing up the past with Jon once he shows up, if he doesn’t broach the subject, I don’t think you should. Keep the relationship strictly business, for both your sakes.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.