Annie Lane: My family’s turned their backs on me

Published 5:48 pm Friday, February 17, 2023

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Dear Annie: My biological family wants nothing to do with me or my new wife. Our story is long. My sons, their wives and children are all very mad at me for saying and doing a few things they didn’t like. I have said I was very sorry, but nothing will ever change. I left their mother because of her anger problems, so that’s two strikes against me. My middle son has even threatened legal action if I say anything else, so it seems like that’s it. Any words of advice?

—Forgotten Father

Dear Forgotten Father: While you don’t specify what actions have incited this domino effect, there’s no doubt that turmoil among family members is potentially a tragedy. As difficult as it is to do nothing, it sounds as though you’ve already said all that you can to make amends but that your family may not be in a place yet to hear it. Considering your divorce and your son’s legal threats, the path forward seems clear: keep your head down and lay low for the foreseeable future while everyone cools off and comes to terms with your new family dynamic.

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Whether it’s through a text, phone call, letter or face-to-face conversation, assure your loved ones that you’ll always be there for them, willing to talk whenever they are, and let them come to you when they are ready. Someday, hopefully, they will be.

• • •

Dear Annie: I’ve been married to my husband for five years. We have been together for over 25 years, at first as distant friends. I caught him cheating three years into our marriage with another woman and forgave him. He said he would never do it again and was sorry for hurting me, but now that that’s over, he still lies about where he goes and he stays out late.

I recently had foot surgery and am at home on bedrest; my husband stays gone until late, comes home and goes to bed. I have moved in with my sister because I need proper care post-procedure, and all he had to say about it was that my family is controlling me. I can’t trust him anymore. What do you think I should do?

— A Wife Who’s

Lost Her Footing

Dear Lost Footing: Instead of working to regain your trust and prove he’s capable of change, your husband has taken your graciousness for granted. He broke a vow two years ago when he was first unfaithful to you, and now he’s cast another promise aside: in sickness and in health. While I’m glad your sister has helped see you through your recovery, your husband’s absence during this time is both disheartening and unacceptable.

If you’re willing to give things another shot, see if your husband would be open to attending marriage counseling. The issues you’re currently facing run deeper than here and now, and only by repairing the cracks in your foundation will you have any chance of going the distance.

“How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?” is out now! Annie Lane’s second anthology —featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation —is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to