Ask Amy: Advice for the Real World

DEAR AMY: My wife and I were high school sweethearts. We have been married for 37 years. We have three children, the youngest is 18.

My wife is a habitual liar and always has been. I grew to accept this but never knew the degree of her deception.

Our relationship has always been strained, and I stayed to watch our daughters grow up. We also have raised two grandchildren.

My wife hasn’t had relations with me since the last millennium. Because of our strained relationship and my suspicions of infidelity, I had a DNA test done on our two oldest children and learned that one of them is not my biological daughter. I confronted my wife and she said the test must be wrong. I agreed to do another test but she said “no” because she didn’t want to upset our daughters.

She says she wants to go to a counselor, but she won’t make an appointment. She said she wants to be intimate with me, but that doesn’t happen either.

I would rather be dead than stay another year with her, but I am waiting for my youngest daughter to go to college in a few months. Then we could sell the house and go our separate ways. My wife tells me I’m upsetting the household. What should I do? — Disgruntled

DEAR DISGRUNTLED: When applied to marriage, the phrase “I’d rather be dead” is a sign that it is time to exit (measuring your sexual frequency in terms of millennia is another bad sign). Your departure might “upset the household,” but it seems your household is already quite unstable. It is also possible that splitting up will result in not only your improved happiness, but a sigh of relief for other family members.

Your corrupted relationship with your wife has collateral damage, however, namely three daughters and two grandchildren. I vote yes on counseling for you.

DEAR AMY: I have been dating my boyfriend for a little over a year. He just got out of the military, so most of our relationship has been over the phone. I know he has a ring to propose to me. My mother accidentally slipped and told me he had asked for my hand, but he still hasn’t asked me!

I snooped on his Facebook page and saw he had friended ALL of the girls he dated back in high school. He also has a bunch of random women as friends on his profile.

I was extremely upset about it. He drove to my house to apologize and tell me I was the only one, etc. Should I be worried or in doubt? He says he loves me. I think he loves me, but my gut makes me wonder.

He also got really drunk one night and invited his dad’s ex-girlfriend’s daughter to his house! He swears up and down she’s like a sister to him. I was furious.

I guess there’s a lot of drama, and I’m very territorial. Should I let my guard down? — Unsure

DEAR UNSURE: Always trust your gut. It’s good to be “on guard” if you want to catch someone doing something you don’t like. However, the very essence of mature attachment is

the ease of feeling completely unguarded and secure.

You two don’t know each other well enough to get engaged. Your choices (and his) reveal to me that you don’t really know what you want.

Contact Amy Dickinson via email: askamy@tribpub.com

Follow her on Twitter @askingamy or like her on Facebook. Amy Dickinson’s memoir, “The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter and the Town that Raised Them” (Hyperion), is available in bookstores.