DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 15 years and love my wife very much, but we drifted apart. Then I went and did something really stupid and had an affair. It lasted only a few weeks, and I regret it. My now-ex-wife and I are still working on our relationship. Yes, it was the wrong thing to do, but because of the affair, we have grown closer than we have ever been.
My problem is her parents. She's worried how they will react. They dislike me intensely now and would run me over with their car if they got the chance. They have also trash-talked me to our children. (My parents have never said anything bad about her and never would.)
It has been a year, and her parents don't know we are working on staying together. They keep trying to set her up on dates. I feel like I'm a secret. Help! -- WORKING IT OUT IN IOWA
DEAR WORKING IT OUT: I'm sorry you didn't explain more about how you and your ex are trying to work things out. From where I sit, her parents are not the problem. The problem is her reluctance to talk to them like the adult she is and tell them your -- and her -- intention to reconcile. It's natural that they are angry with you for cheating on their daughter and are trying to introduce her to eligible men now she's divorced. The two of you should enlist the help of a licensed marriage and family counselor, not only to help you reconcile, but also to repair the breach with her family.
DEAR ABBY: I am 26 and have been struggling with jealousy and envy for the past few years. My friends and family members my age are moving forward with their lives. I'm having trouble landing a full-time job, so I still live at home with my parents. I feel like I'm still in high school, where I must answer questions about where I'm going and whom I'm going out with.
I love my parents and I'm thankful for them, but at times I feel that because I'm living under their roof, I am no longer growing as a person. I tell my friends and family my issues when they ask me what's wrong, and they always respond that I do have a purpose in life and that God has a path for me. Can you help me find new ways to cope? -- HOW DO I COPE?
DEAR HOW: One way to cope would be to start asking friends and family members why they think you are having such a hard time finding full-time employment. They may be able to offer some helpful suggestions.
Another would be to contact employment agencies and ask what may be missing from your resume and whether they can help you. (It may be time to start looking into fields other than the ones in which you have been working.)
I agree that at 26, it may be time to establish some independence by either finding a roommate to share expenses or renting a room in a home other than your parents'.