Dear Annie: The woman my husband had an affair with may be our daughter’s teacher

Dear Annie: Seventeen years ago, my husband had an emotional affair with his co-worker. I confronted her when it started (she texted him after finding out we were having marital problems) and told her to please stay out of my personal life. However, the texts and happy hours between them continued for another month or two. I eventually confronted both of them when they were at her house. After that, they stopped communicating. To this day, he still says nothing happened.

The problem is they still work together at our district’s public elementary school (and she’s still single). When my oldest child attended the school, I was able to change her teachers so she would not be in her class. Fast-forward 17 years and now my other child will be attending the same school and it may not be an option to change her teacher.

While I would love to be the bigger person and let it go, I just can’t. Again, it’s been 17 years, and I’m still married, but the affair left a huge scar and deep resentment, and I know my blood will boil if I have to see her. I don’t want to give her the pleasure of teaching my child. She doesn’t deserve it, but if I make a huge deal, then I’m bringing everything to light again, which makes me look unstable. I thought I was able to forgive but not forget, but this upcoming school year is bringing every emotion back to the forefront. Should I just harbor my disgust with her and pretend to let it go, or address the issue again, have her class changed, and look pathetic and jealous?

-- Can’t Let It Go

Dear Can’t Let It Go: Forget about how you would appear to everyone else, and think about how you would feel. It sounds like having your child in this class would be painful and triggering. You will suffer, and as a result, your child will suffer. How will your daughter feel if her mother neglects to ask about her school day, refuses to supervise field trips or show up at the science fair, and tenses up every time she mentions her teacher? For the sake of you, your child and your whole family, switch your daughter’s class.

It is completely understandable for you to be triggered by this event. You sound like you are self-aware and willing to work on your marriage. Find a good couples counselor to help you process and overcome this “deep resentment,” and make sure your husband backs up you and your daughter.

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Dear Annie: I’ve been seeing a man (71) who is eight years older than me (63). His wife passed away almost two years ago. Our relationship has only been sexual despite me continually saying I want more. Each time we meet at his house for our sexual encounters, he will ghost me from a week to a month afterward. He never takes me out, and he will not tell his family he has a female friend.


I really care for this man and want more than sex. He tells me he feels like he is cheating on his late wife. I’m not sure what I should do. Do I let him go, or do I keep trying to get through to him?

-- Tired of Being Casual

Dear Tired: After several pleas for commitment, you’ve gotten the same answer time and again. This man either cannot be a romantic partner to you or simply doesn’t want to be. Either way, you’re the one making all the sacrifices with very little payoff. Let him continue grieving his wife’s death and pursue the type of relationship he can handle, and you do the same -- with someone whose level of interest and dedication aligns with yours.

Annie Lane

Annie Lane offers common-sense solutions to everyday problems. She's firm, funny and sympathetic, echoing the style of her biggest inspiration, Ann Landers. She lives outside Manhattan with her husband, two kids and two dogs. When not writing, she devotes her time to play dates and Play-Doh. Write her: