DEAR ABBY: My wife recently started a new yoga class she really likes. But I made the mistake of telling her that the instructor and I had dated briefly (had sex) when we were around 15. I am 50 now and my wife is 45. I was a promiscuous drunk when I was in high school and college. I have been sober now for 28 years, and we have been together for 22 years. I have not been with another woman since I met my wife.
Abby, she treats this situation as if I cheated on her yesterday, and this was 35 years ago! Also, after she recognized my wife’s last name, the yoga instructor told my wife that I broke her heart back then. Help! — HEARTBREAKER
DEAR HEARTBREAKER: You have gotten your life in order, and the yoga instructor appears to be doing well. That she’s 50 and in good enough shape to be teaching yoga says a lot for her flexibility. Clearly, neither you nor your old high school classmate has been trying to slip anything past your wife. If she really feels threatened because of your long-past relationship with her teacher, she should roll up her mat and find another class.
DEAR ABBY: We have a lovely granddaughter who is about to be married to an excellent young man. She is sweet, kind, smart, hardworking, just out of college and everything you would want in a granddaughter. However, we are deeply concerned about her wedding, which will have a Wiccan theme, and they are both planning to change to a last name with Wiccan significance.
Although I’m not positive, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t actually follow this religion, but rather regards it as an entertaining idea. As a Christian, I’m uncomfortable with the theme. Our only choices are to go and make the best of it, or to stay home and have everyone think we are narrow-minded old fuddy-duddies. What should we do? — CHALLENGED IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR CHALLENGED: I’m glad you asked. Go, make the best of it, and refrain from making judgments about your lovely, high-achieving granddaughter’s decision about her wedding. Her choice of wedding theme may or may not be a lark. However, if it isn’t, Wicca is a peaceful religion. Wiccans do not practice black magic. She will still be the same lovely girl after the wedding as she was before.
DEAR ABBY: My mother-in-law didn’t get me a card or even wish me Happy Mother’s Day on my very first one. We got together to celebrate, so I don’t think she forgot. I thought we had a pretty good relationship, but now I’m not so sure.
Is there a nice way to ask her why she didn’t get me a card or even say, “Happy Mother’s Day”? I’d like to be able to apologize if she’s harboring a grudge for some reason. — NEW MOM IN TENNESSEE
DEAR NEW MOM: Sometimes it’s not what you say, but the way you say it that can create tension. I suggest that when you approach your MIL about this, you do it with a smile and say, “I was surprised when you didn’t wish me a Happy Mother’s Day. Why was that?” Then LISTEN.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.