cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
Lucy ([personal profile] cereta) wrote in [community profile] agonyaunt2017-07-20 11:00 am
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Dear Abby: Mistress Seeking Solace Still Mourns Years After Man's Death

DEAR ABBY: I don't know what to do. I was having an affair with the most wonderful (married) man. I'm sure that he and I were the only ones who knew. He passed away unexpectedly a few years ago. I still go to the place where we met and hung out together. In my mind, I see him walking in and speaking his last words to me.

How do I mourn for him without giving it away? He was cremated, so there's no grave to visit. I end up in tears when I visit "our" place. I need all the advice you have to offer. -- NEEDS HELP IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR NEEDS HELP: Please accept my sympathy for your clearly heartfelt loss. Ordinarily I'd suggest you join a grief support group, but I'm afraid if you do, you might run into his widow if you live in the same area.

It might help you to visit the place you met less often. Surely there are less painful places you can go to quietly reflect on your relationship. You might also consider discussing your feelings with a therapist or a trusted, nonjudgmental friend, because keeping these feelings bottled up is not healthy.
jadelennox: Judith Martin/Miss Manners looking ladylike: it's not about forks  (judith martin:forks)

[personal profile] jadelennox 2017-07-20 04:21 pm (UTC)(link)
Grief is a real thing, and Abby's advice to avoid any place where LW might run into the dead man's spouse is good advice. I don't have sympathy for people in affairs, usually, but this is legit.

My advice would mirror "therapist or trusted, non-judgemental friend" but would also include just openly admitting they are grieving without any details. "I'm sorry, I'm going through a rough time right now. I lost somebody a few years ago. No, nobody you know." Let people believe you were dating someone from the Internet, or something.

As a person who's bottled up grief myself, it's not a course I can recommend.
the_rck: (Default)

[personal profile] the_rck 2017-07-20 04:33 pm (UTC)(link)
I think that a therapist, specifically a grief counselor, is likely the way to go because of patient confidentiality. The main thing would be to shop around to find someone who's not going to get stuck on the horribleness of adultery and make the letter writer feel worse (and also making the situation worse in other ways) by wanting repentance/atonement/confession.
xenacryst: (Ivanova is god)

[personal profile] xenacryst 2017-07-20 04:43 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm with this. The grief is real, regardless of what circumstances were before it, so finding a way to talk about it with someone trusted, or to not have to give details is necessary.
adrian_turtle: (Default)

[personal profile] adrian_turtle 2017-07-20 08:04 pm (UTC)(link)
There are therapists who specialize in grief, but most therapists recognize that grief can cause depression. (A mentally healthy person is miserable after the death of someone they love. They only consider it "depression" if the awful part lasts a long time.)

The LW is in Massachusetts, so they have health insurance that includes mental health care. They don't need to tell their primary care doctor who they're grieving for--just that they're depressed, and have been since their sweetheart died more than 2 years ago. If therapists are organizing a support group, they can check that the LW and the widow aren't in the same one. ("Can you make sure my mom isn't in the group, before I go talk about dad's death?" "Sure. How do you spell her name?")
rosefox: Green books on library shelves. (Default)

[personal profile] rosefox 2017-07-21 05:58 am (UTC)(link)
That was a surprisingly thoughtful reply and I agree with the advice.

I was in nearly the same position many years ago; my deceased partner hadn't been out to his family as polyamorous. When I went to the memorial service, I said I was "a friend". The deception was incredibly hard on top of the grief (and other exacerbating factors). What helped me was leaning on friends I could be out to, journaling, and seeing a good therapist. I hope Needs Help in Massachusetts finds similar resources.