Q: My husband cheated on me and told me to find somebody else. He moved in with the other woman and spread lies about me, telling my in-laws that I had cheated on him. He was on probation, so I reported to his probation officer that he was lying about where he was living. He was arrested for it.
He is now incarcerated and facing a two-year prison sentence. We’re trying to work on our marriage, but I haven’t told him that I’m the person who reported him to his probation officer. I’m still angry at him for cheating on me. When I write him, I tend to bring up what he did when he was out. I have told him I forgave him, but lately, I don’t even take time to respond to his letters. What should I do? — Just Plain Angry
A: You’re not writing to your husband because you are still angry with him, and this is another way of punishing him for leaving you. What you should do is ask yourself, honestly and rationally, if it’s worth it to try to get past the fact that he not only cheated, but tried to damage your reputation as well. What you should NOT do, for your own safety, is tell him that the person who turned him in for a parole violation was you.
Q: I don’t know what to do with my parents’ wedding album. My mother gave it to me as a gift when I was a teen, and I assume it was a coming-of-age consideration. I’m now in my 30s with a career that has me moving around frequently. I have moved once a year for at least the last five years, and I have had to pack up this album and box it every time.
I think that when my mother gave it to me, she figured I would pass it on to grandchildren, but I have chosen to not reproduce. My parents’ marriage was anything but storybook. What little I remember was abusive and chaotic, and my parents split up before I reached kindergarten.
While these photos are fantastic imagery of a certain era, I do not want to move them around anymore. My father has since passed, and my mother lives in a small apartment on limited means, so I don’t want to return it to her. She is also quite sentimental, and I’m afraid that handing this heirloom back to her will be disruptive.
I’m getting ready to move again and don’t want to schlep this unwanted item to yet another location. Any advice? — Breaking With the Past
A: I see no reason why you should feel compelled to hang onto a memento of your parents’ failed, unhappy marriage. However, I do not think you should get rid of it without first offering it back to your mother. Although her apartment is small, she might want to make room for it not only because she’s sentimental, but also because it is a part of her history, like any other family album.
If she doesn’t want it back, consider offering it to another relative — aunt, uncle, etc. — or your state historical society before disposing of it.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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