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Section: relationships, sexuality, marriage, mental-health

Dear Ann Landers,
My husband and I have been married for 18 years. We have two fine children. Five years ago, my husband had an affair. I was devastated when I learned about it, but I did forgive him. He promised never to see the woman again, and he has kept his word. Here's the problem, Ann. The woman has kept in close touch with my in-laws for the past five years. My mother-in-law is well aware that this is very upsetting to me, but she continues to be friendly to the would-be home wrecker. Even my husband has asked his mother to stop seeing the woman, but she continues to be chummy. We moved from Florida partly to get away from this unpleasant situation, and believe it or not, this woman had the gall to move to this same small town. My nerves are completely shot, and I am beginning to develop health problems because of this. Can you help me? -- Hurt in Alabama

Dear Alabama,
You cannot do anything about that woman, but you can do something about yourself. Get some counseling at once. I've often said, "Nobody can take advantage of you without your permission," and the same goes for "torturing." You must put on an emotional raincoat and let whatever comes your way slide off. As for your mother-in-law, you have no right to dictate to her whom she should socialize with, so again, dear, put on that raincoat. Meanwhile, your doctor can give you something to settle your nerves.

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Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!

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Reader Comment
"Put on an emotional raincoat"? That's horse pucky! Yes, she does need some counseling, but so does her husband. How does that trollop know where this couple moved? Was the MIL (she's a nasty piece of work, also) helping her or was the husband (the other nasty piece of work)? I wouldn't trust either one of them.

Deming NM's Comment
Her husband kept his word and also asked his mother to cut the woman out. They moved to another state! They are being stalked and she's abetted by his mother. There must be something legal they can do, or maybe an ad in the local newspaper disavowing any relationship with the woman: then let her answer any questions that come up.

Reader Comment
I agree with both commenters here. The MIL needs to be blocked from them until she wakes up and drops the "trollop" which is a very mild name for what she really is (as well as the MIL)

Reader Comment
Dear Ann, I think YOU blew it on your response! Why should the wife and husband put up with such disrespect from his mom? MIL is definitely being abusing to both by caring on with the “other woman” . Raincoat??? They moved to another state and MIL told the “tramp” where they moved to. I am just sooo disappointed in your answer.

Andy's Comment
While I think both you and your husband should seek counseling (it will be good to help settle your nerves), I also think that your husband needs to have it out with his mother about what her continuing contact with the trollop is doing to both of your mental health. She is probably the person who told the trollop where you moved. If she continues to befriend the trollop (that IS her right, after all), you and your husband ought to limit your contact with her in the future. As for the trollop, you both should cut her dead when you see her in public. If she attempts to interfere with your lives and harass you, then and only then will you have legal cause for grounds against her.

Reader Comment
"Home wrecker"? The "other woman" is not the one who broke vows to 'Hurt'. Hurt's husband is the breaker of vow and the homewrecker. Hurt's hubby may well have lied to the "other woman" for the duration of the affair, and perhaps after. Let's focus blame where blame is due. As for Hurt - she won here - the affair ended and the marriage is intact. If the "other woman" is still around, perhaps a chat is in order. Is hubby still lying to the woman, and continuing the affair? Is hubby lying to his parents about the state of things? Or is it as simple as other woman and MIL getting on very well and since the affair is long over see no conflict.
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, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them."
-Ann Landers