Life Advice



Ask Amy: Daughter-in-law doesn’t want to forgive adultery

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Hotel door with do not disturb icon and female legs on the background; adultery concept

Dear Amy: Several years ago, my mother-in-law, “Betsy,” was unfaithful. This tore their family apart. More than once, Betsy asked my husband to “break the bad news” to “Anthony,” (his dad), and to comfort his father when he was devastated.

I was furious with her.

My parents were abusive during my childhood. My in-laws had always been wonderful. I saw them as a “replacement” for my broken family. Betsy destroyed that.

After she decided to stop running around, her husband welcomed her back immediately and acted like nothing had ever happened.

My father-in-law told me that I was also to act like nothing had ever happened, and that this was forgiveness. That directive destroyed any remaining feelings I had for either of them.


I have made peace with this, but the respect I used to have for them is gone.

They want it all to be puppy dogs and rainbows again, but I am not capable of that.

I am polite; I go to family gatherings, but it feels like a chore. My husband tells me he understands (he is disappointed, too), but I know he would like me to be friendlier. I just can’t.

I would feel best not having to be around them at all, but we want our kids to see their grandparents.


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