Monday, October 26, 2009

Dear Prudence

Dear Prudence,

My husband and I left our children with friend’s we trusted to care for them while we went to a play some distance away. When we returned, we were informed that our eldest son, whom is 4 years old, was spanked for crying at bedtime. This was not a casual remark, but one made from a heartfelt position of regret, embarrassment, and sorrow. It came from the husband, who intervened, and not his wife, who hit our child. We are adamantly against spanking in general and this is well known amongst our friends. Two months have passed. We reconciled with the husband quickly, grateful that he stepped in and stood up to his wife on behalf of our son. I can’t imagine how difficult of a situation he was in.

Last night we spoke with the two of them for the first time. It was comfortable talking with him and awkward, to say the least, in speaking with her. She appeared remorseful, but I don’t trust it. I feel as if it was born more out of her husband’s anger over her actions and our avoidance of socializing with them than her actual actions. She asked, “How can you ever forgive me when I can’t forgive myself?” I responded honestly. “I can’t. But I can move on and be in the same room with you. That's at least a step forward.” My husband, meanwhile, hugged her and told her it was okay and everyone makes mistakes.

Now my husband and I are at odds. He feels I was too harsh and that it is in the past. After all, she apologized. We, meaning the wife and I, have never had a close relationship. I don’t feel this relationship is worth salvaging, but I am willing to be courteous at social gatherings. I would have been fine never speaking with her again if the relationship my husband had with her husband wasn’t so important to the two of them.

Should I have held my tongue? How can I reason this with my husband? Do I need to make amends and fake a friendliness that I do not feel?


Friendly or Not


  1. This must be a prompt with Shirin (did I get her name right?)

    Since I know the situation I wonder if the meeting and apology was real or feared. At any rate I don't think I could have handled it better.

    This letter shows me that you anger has defiantly cooled since we last spoke about it which is expected since it was a while ago.

    I totally support your position

  2. Yes... the Dear Prudie letter was between Shirin and I. (You are always welcome to use one of our prompts as well. I'll just take that night off.)

    And, yes. You spelled her name correctly.