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Wedding Woes

Four men, FOUR MEN.

Dear Prudence,
When my husband was 16 he began an affair with his aunt, his mother’s brother’s wife. She was 35 and I believe she took advantage of him and lured him into an affair when her marriage was falling apart. They remained in a relationship for 10 years. He ended it six years ago. We have been together for three years and have young children. He told me about this affair before we were serious and he said it had been true love. Now he has deep guilt and regret. At times he has even wondered how he got so lucky with our family given his “great sin.” The problem is that because he is close with his cousins, his aunt’s children, she still has access to our lives. I have no reason to believe he is in contact with her. But he asked me to accept his cousins’ friend requests on Facebook, which I did and now regret. I am really struggling with all of this. I want to delete his cousins and asked him to delete them, but he says they are his cousins and he can’t. We have fought about this several times. Am I being crazy? Even deleting them would not guarantee she will be gone from the picture. I’m seriously confused and losing faith in us.

—Anti-Aunt

Re: Four men, FOUR MEN.

  • i love that she thinks this is a facebook problem.
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    mrsconn23
  • SO DOES PRUDIE!

    Dear Anti,
    So you have come to an agony aunt for your aunt agony. I agree with you that a 35-year-old woman who finds sexual and emotional comfort with her 16-year-old nephew is a predator. Were this about an uncle and niece, no one would think otherwise. She was an adult woman with children, he a minor—and a relative! He may have found her attention sexually arousing and emotionally enticing, but that doesn’t lessen her violation. Yes, the relationship continued into his early adulthood, but because it began when he was still a boy, she undermined his normal adolescent development—so he’s struggling now with what happened. Thank goodness he eventually realized it had to stop, and that he had already extricated himself before you came along. His happy relationship with you, and especially having children himself, has caused him to see his relationship with his aunt as dark and twisted. Your letter started with high drama, then dwindled to a minor dilemma: Should you and your husband unfriend his cousins from Facebook? My answer to that is, No. Your husband is right that these innocent parties should not have to find themselves exiled from your lives because of their mother’s egregious behavior. Don’t let this auntie maim your relationship—she’s no threat to you whatsoever. You are letting her eat away psychologically at your marriage without cause. Since you say your husband has gone from seeing the affair as a great love to a great sin, one that makes him feel sometimes unworthy of his current happiness, he needs to talk about all of this with a therapist. You should join him for some of those sessions so that you can stop feeling that this outlaw of an in-law has any power over your lives.

    —Prudie

  • Prudie gives good counsel on this one.
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    mrsconn23Knottie67053264
  • GBCKGBCK member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    I like the gist of what Prudie says (therapy for abuse victims = good), but I'm not a fan w/ how she expresses it
    " Don’t let this auntie maim your relationship—she’s no threat to you whatsoever."
    Are we really going to think the perpetrator of abuse isn't messing w/ their relationship?

    mrsconn23hmonkey
  • GBCK said:

    I like the gist of what Prudie says (therapy for abuse victims = good), but I'm not a fan w/ how she expresses it
    " Don’t let this auntie maim your relationship—she’s no threat to you whatsoever."
    Are we really going to think the perpetrator of abuse isn't messing w/ their relationship?

    Yes. "Major drama boiled down to a minor dilemma".   That is very dismissive sounding.  Like, "Oh silly Facebook!"  The FB stuff IS silly, but what's going on behind it is serious. 
  • They've been together three years and already have multiple children?! 

    Yes, That's where I'm stuck. Because I have a feeling this is a case of everybody makes bad decisions (that may have been caused by abuse, but still, see a therapist). 
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    mrsconn23MesmrEwe
  • Apparently she hasn't discovered the "no notifications", "unfollow" and "custom" settings... 
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