Family Matters

Advice on manners and morals.
Dec. 3 1999 3:30 AM

Family Matters

Please send your questions for publication to prudence@slate.com.

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Dear Prudence,

How does one "get over" a spouse's affair? How long does it take for the hurt to lessen?

--Susan From Bethlehem

Dear Sus,

As with bleeding, healing takes different amounts of time for different people. Alas, some people bleed to death. Prudie wishes you peace of mind, wherever you may find it. Give yourself some time to see how things play out and see how you're feeling about things ... well, about him. If you can't get over it, get out of it.

--Prudie, understandingly

Dear Prudence,

I am having an ongoing ordeal over whether my 12-year-old daughter should refer to her stepfather as "Dad," "Stepdad," or by his first name. I've been remarried for six years to my present husband, and he insists that my daughter should refer to him as either "Dad" or "Mr. Giles" when addressing him. My daughter calls my husband by his first name, which infuriates him because he believes it is disrespectful. My daughter insists he doesn't deserve to be called "Dad" and now only makes reference to "him" when mentioning her stepfather to friends or relatives. Please advise about what would be the most appropriate way to handle the situation.

--Mrs. Giles

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