DEAR AMY: I'm a 56-year-old woman. My husband, "Larry," is 54, and we've been married for four years.
My husband works across the street from a bar he frequents daily after work.
The bartender, "Roxanne," is a single woman; I'm guessing she's in her 30s.
Roxanne has been sending homemade porn videos to my husband's cell phone.
I feel this is extremely disrespectful not only to me but also to our marriage.
Am I wrong to be upset by this?
My husband thinks it's funny.
We don't have the best relationship right now because he does frequent the bar on a daily basis. I'm considering letting Roxanne know how offended I am over this.
What do you think?
— Freaking Out in Fresno
DEAR FREAKING OUT: I find myself wishing (on your behalf) that you hung out with a better class of people.
What I mean is — homemade porn? Really? (I seem to remember a long-ago time when if you wanted to give something homemade, you would whip up a casserole.)
So yes, go ahead and ask "Roxanne" personally to delete your husband's number from her "contact" list. Don't belabor how offensive this is to you — I have a feeling Roxanne is either not going to understand — or care. (Your husband obviously doesn't.)
If your husband is drinking every night after work, then yes you should also let him know how this affects you.
Then you should engage in some quiet reflection and ask yourself some important questions.
You have one life. Is this how you want to live it? Do you deserve better?
I bet you do.
DEAR AMY: About a year ago I had a major fight with my mother after years of oppression.
What she did to me as punishment is rather unforgivable, and I do not intend to forgive her. I have been going through a lot in these last months, and I know that a psychologist would be able to help me sort out things.
I have called and made an appointment, but I'm afraid to go. Opening myself up to a stranger doesn't worry me, but I'm afraid she'll tell me I need to forgive my mother and welcome her back in my life.
I feel as if my mother is dead to me. I am living without her, and I plan to continue this way.
My dad, who was also deeply hurt by my mother's actions, says I should forgive her. I don't believe in "forgive and forget." I never have. Why does everyone keep telling me I need to welcome her back into my life? Would a psychologist also do that?
DEAR WONDERING: A psychologist would ask you questions, listen carefully to your answers and not tell you what to do.
Your job as a client would be to dig deep, find your own answers and then assume the responsibility for your conclusions and choices. The psychologist is your guide.
Your trepidation about this process and your feelings about the burdens of forgiveness are signs you should plunge in.
Forgiveness is a daunting challenge. But you can have forgiveness without forgetting. You can also have forgiveness without resuming a relationship you're either not ready or willing to have. Forgiveness is a gift you can give to yourself.
DEAR AMY: Regarding the letter from "Nicknamed" — who had changed her ugly first name but whose family refused to use the new name — our family went through this.
My ugly-named sister handled it this way. She changed her name legally on all documents, driver's license, etc., and changed her name at work.
She patiently corrected family members and friends for a number of months.
Then she set a date and, after that date, stopped answering to the ugly name. Period. All questions were answered with the statement, "That is not my name. My name is pretty name now, and that's what I answer to."
She even converted her own mother.
— Suzanne's Sister
DEAR SISTER: Clarity, followed by patience and setting definitive boundaries. I like it.
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