The fruit of an affair
Dear Annie: Last month, my wife of 60 years admitted to a five-year affair that occurred 55 years ago. I would call it a tryst — with sex the same time and the same place almost every day in a five-day workweek. “Count ’em!” That’s about 1,000 encounters, taking time out for the birth of three babies, vacations, etc.
The hurt has been indescribable. I think about it constantly. Fortunately, I have found a psychologist I can vent to. I keep telling myself it was 55 years ago, but it seems like yesterday. I still have my unfaithful wife; she has no place to go, and alas, I still love her.
During that five-year period, three boys were born. The last one I am sure is not mine. He is aware that he is different from his siblings and has asked me whether he could have been switched at birth. The biological father is dead. I think our son should know who he was, but his mother does not. We are 80 years old and the only ones to know, and time is running out to tell him. With doctors using DNA information and with Ancestry.com, etc., it is only a matter of time before he finds out he has different genes than his siblings.
I love him very much and don’t want him to think I was involved in wife swapping or somehow a party to the affair. It is bad enough to know that he is the product of a cheating mother. My wife tells me she has no remorse, guilt or shame, but she cares about what our son would think of her. Tell him? Your opinion, please. — It Was “Only” Sex
Dear Only: Should you tell your son? I’m inclined to say no. There’s no point in upsetting the balance and making him feel more like an outsider. Besides, he already knows who his real dad is: you.
But if his biological father suffered from any conditions of which genetics are a good predictor, then your son should be aware of that medical history. Raise that concern with your wife. She should want him to be equipped with all the best information to lead a long, healthy life.
I can’t imagine the range of emotions you must be cycling through on a daily basis. I’m happy that you’ve found a therapist who can help you process things. Keep going. The sting of your wife’s revelation will lessen with time.
Dear Annie: I just read the letter from “Inbox Infinity,” who was stressed out by having nearly 7,000 unread emails. I understand completely. I procrastinate, have generalized anxiety and attention deficit disorder, and am a perfectionist.
Please suggest to “Inbox” that he or she can start the culling process painlessly by signing up for Unroll.Me, which was suggested to me by a website for adults with ADD. It is an amazing, simple program that will compile your incoming emails into a ”daily digest” and make it easy to unsubscribe from what you don’t want.
Unroll.Me will not do anything about the emails already archived in your inbox, however. It only organizes incoming mail. For those 7,000 pesky emails, I would suggest some tough love. Delete them. Simple as that. If they haven’t been looked at in a week, a month or a year, they most likely are not important or have expired. Don’t even look at them. Just delete them!
As for family members, consider emailing them after the purge, explaining that you want to reconnect but recently deleted a whole bunch of emails. They will understand, as they probably have several thousand archived emails also! — Been There, Done That
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org.