Life Advice

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Health & Spirit

Home DNA test yields heartbreaking surprise

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Confused: Your friend's request was natural -- she was relieving herself of a secret by passing it along to you -- but it is also unreasonable.

When someone asks you, "Please, don't tell this to anyone," it is legitimate for you to respond, "I'm sorry, but I don't think I can do that."

Now that you have agreed to keep this confidence, you should try to keep it, however.

I would frame this less as "secret keeping" and more as this not really being your -- or your husband's -- business.

If you told your husband, aside from relieving yourself of this burden, what would be the purpose of your disclosure? This knowledge would force him to make the tough decision about whether to tell his friend that his wife is cheating on him. This inserts the two of you into the middle of their marriage.

If your friend decides that you are her special confidant concerning this affair and if she chooses to unburden herself further, it would be wisest for you to tell her, "I need you to know that knowing about this makes me very uncomfortable. I wish you weren't doing this at all, but at this point I don't want you to discuss it with me. I realize that your behavior has a huge impact on you and your family, but it has also put me in a very tough spot."

Dear Amy: Responding to the heartbreaking question from "Angry Father," whose grief over his wife's death was having a big impact on his relationship with his children.

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Thank you for suggesting a grief support group. My daughter and I benefited from a series of "grief classes" offered through our local hospice.

They differ from support groups in that there is peer discussion, but emphasis is on teaching by grief specialist, processing one's grief and use of learning materials. I highly recommend starting with grief class before support group, especially when the grief is complicated.

-- PJ

Dear PJ: Hospice centers all over the country are helping to transform how we experience death, loss and grief. This is an excellent suggestion. Any interested reader should contact their local hospice or hospital.

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(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: askamy@amydickinson.com. Readers may send postal mail to Amy Dickinson, c/o Tribune Content Agency, 16650 Westgrove Drive, Suite 175, Addison, Texas, 75001. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or "like" her on Facebook.)

 

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