My advise column in the July 6, 2017 issue of The CJN is controversial depending on who you talk to. Men seem to understand this husband’s motive better than women. 

The second letter is about managing the behaviour of your partner in a party setting. Also something that requires tact and trust.

Dear Ella,
My darling husband of 28 years has confessed that he was unfaithful on a business trip nine years ago. At first, I thought he was joking, but when I saw how distraught he was, I knew he was serious. I went from shock, to anger, to complete sadness. He said he had been living with this secret and now that we are expecting our first grandchild, he wanted to come clean. He said it was important that I know, before the baby is born, how much he loves me and our family and how he regrets what happened.
My husband, Abe, and I have had our challenges, especially when we became empty nesters. What am I supposed to do with this information? I wish he would have never told me.
Dirty Old Secrets

Dear Dirty Old Secrets
There’s nothing more explosive than dropping a bomb like that right into the middle of your marriage. There’s no right or wrong way to react. Did he tell you simply to relieve himself of the guilt, or because he truly felt it was the right thing to do? Does this mean the last nine years of your life have been a lie? Does it mean you can never trust your husband again?
Abe’s decision to tell you is irrelevant. He can’t take it back. Now you have some soul-searching and a whole slew of emotions to get through, if your marriage is going to recover from this.
Should you give up on 28 years of marriage? Should you disrupt the harmony of your family, especially with a new baby on the way? Can you live with him, or even look at him, now? These are all questions only you can answer.
What I can advise is don’t do anything rash. Give yourself time to absorb, deal and heal. Let the hierarchy of emotions take their turn as you work through each stage. Enlist the help of a professional you can confide in and work through each feeling, perhaps even together.
Abe can’t rewind nine years and fix this. His motivation was not to hurt you. I believe he wanted to start fresh and clean, like the birth of a new baby. Abe’s had nine years to come to terms with his infidelity. You don’t have that luxury. No matter what path this new information takes you down, do not let it cloud the fact that you are having a grandchild – a gift from God. Grandchildren have a way of healing the unhealable.

Dear Ella,
I’ve been invited to a company barbecue with my partner. I was very happy and accepted without thinking it through.
My partner, Les, is witty, handsome and very personable. However, in a party setting, he tends to drink a bit too much wine. We’ve never discussed it and I’m not sure if I should mention it. These people are my peers, my bosses, and I want to make a good impression. Should I mention it or give him enough credit to know this party is different?
Difficult Discussion

Dear Difficult Discussion
Office parties are nothing like regular parties. They are a time when co-workers and managers mingle, discuss and relax just a little – but never too much.
You, and anyone associated with you, must still remain professional, only it’s on a different level than in the office.
If Les has a habit of over-indulging at parties, it is up to you to make him understand this is not that kind of party.
No need to offend him in any way, just explain how on guard you will have to be at this get together and that you plan on nursing one glass of wine throughout the event. Make sure he understands that your job and reputation must remain intact after the barbecue. Let him know how much you are looking forward to introducing him to the people you work with.
If Les is in tune with your needs, he should understand without you having to spell it out and offend him.

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