Abby: Giving in to vengeance splits her family apart

Dear Abby
Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: I made a big mistake three years ago. When I found out my husband was cheating on me, I became vengeful and sought revenge. I ended up sleeping with my sister-in-law’s boyfriend to get back at my husband and at her for some things she did in the past. It took my pain away — for a bit.

Abby, I’m not this kind of person. I’m not an evil, conniving tramp. I regret what I did every day, and feel like garbage.

My sister-in-law and I haven’t spoken since I decided to tell her the truth. My husband and I (miraculously) were able to work through our problems, and our relationship is stronger than ever. My sister-in-law and her boyfriend have remained together, and I don’t speak to him anymore, either.

What can I do to earn forgiveness? Is this even forgivable? How can I mend this family I helped tear apart?

Only Human in Houston

Dear Only Human: You might start by apologizing to your sister-in-law for the pain you caused her. But after that, the decision about whether she can forgive you or wants anything more to do with you will be up to her.

Dear Abby: My granddaughter, “Becca,” just turned 6. One of her favorite things to do is role-play, which includes the prince (me) kissing her, sometimes at the end of a wedding ceremony. Becca also likes to sit on my lap.

My wife thinks I shouldn’t allow her to sit there and the interaction isn’t appropriate. She says I may be mistaken for some kind of predator. It hurts me and Becca when I tell her we must find another playtime scenario. I think it’s harmless.

Who’s right here? My wife or me? Is there an age a granddaughter reaches when this kind of interaction becomes taboo? What about giving her a goodbye kiss when she departs?

Baffled Grandpa in El Paso

Dear Baffled: Do Becca’s parents agree with your wife? I would be more concerned with whether they consider your playing Prince Charming to be inappropriate. At 6, I see no harm in it. When Becca is 8 or 9, your wife may have a point. Of course, by then she may prefer to be Supergirl rather than a princess, and have other objectives than being a bride.

As to kissing your granddaughter hello or goodbye, that’s appropriate regardless of her age. And when you do, I seriously doubt anyone will mistake you for a predator.

Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.