Couple can not deal with emotions of guilt of infidelity

Dear Amy,

My life with my (not yet divorced) partner of four has deteriorated. We’re both in our 60s.

He has ongoing stress and guilt for having an affair with me while he was with his wife. Work stress, physical problems, and the ongoing pandemic all contributed to his heavy drinking.

When he’s drunk, he accuses me of stealing it from his wife.

As he gathers up he apologizes, but it happens again.

How do we both get rid of the guilt?

He knows he should be in therapy, but it doesn’t seem like that.

We want to stay together, but sometimes it feels really hard. Throughts?

– K

Feeling guilty for misbehaving is appropriate. You and your husband had an extramarital affair and are now living together even though he is still married. The guilt associated with these decisions means that you both think and feel people who have acted regrettably but don’t want to feel the discomfort associated with the consequences. Poor you!

The way to get rid of the guilt is to take responsibility for the behavior, apologize to everyone you have hurt, and hope that others will find a way to forgive you.

Your guy turned his own guilt into compassion for himself and then blamed you for his behavior. That’s what toddlers do.

He needs treatment, advice, and makes some important decisions that he may have to change his life. Anyone who has time to wallow in their cups and cry, but who doesn’t seem to fit into the therapy, will of course have to readjust their priorities.

Next time he’s drunk and you accuse “stealing it from his wife,” I suggest that you offer to give it back to her.

Dear Amy,

After years of encouraging my (adoptive) son to find his birth parents so that he could have a medical history, he found them and I find it all so uncomfortable and uncomfortable.

I feel so insecure He keeps telling me very lovingly: “You are my mother and nothing has changed”, but it is true.

His maternal biological family lives in a different country.

We emailed with them.

His biological father is here. My son looks like him. They share a lot of interests and I take a back seat.


– “You are my mother”

Your son says this to you because it is true. Additionally, you obviously raised him very well by encouraging him to find his biological family members and he realizes how challenging this is for you. He sounds sensitive and friendly.

Biological family contacts or family reunions are becoming more common with the advent of DNA testing. These efforts create joys and challenges on a wide spectrum. This is new territory for adoptive families.

As our children grow up, they enter into all kinds of relationships that seem to upset the family balance. They band together, develop close friendships, and move away. In close families, this can be destabilizing.

As a parent, you have no choice but to join in and anchor yourself to one essential principle of parenting: your job is to teach and encourage your children to love others.

How you roll with it affects your relationship with your son.

Your emotional endeavors should be directed towards dealing with your own feelings and learning how to tolerate your discomfort. Be as gentle with yourself and others as possible.

Other adoptive parents facing this challenge could be very helpful and supportive. The Center for Adoption Promotion and Education offers information and advice for adopted people and their parents. For information, support groups, and counseling services, visit their website:

Dear Amy,

I would pass your advice on to “Distant” whose friendships had fallen off during the pandemic and who didn’t know how to reconnect. You suggested that this person send postcards to friends.

When my college roommate and I distanced ourselves; I asked if I would ever see her again and she said “no”. A year later I sent her a quick note to let her know I was thinking of her and got a two-page letter back.

She had made some changes in her life and was excited to reconnect. We have been very close since then – almost 40 years!

I say send the postcards.

– A friend

I pinned dozens of postcards on my wall. I love sending – and receiving.

Write to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068, or email

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