Ask Amy: Parents on the fence over adultery

Dear Amy: My wonderful daughter and her husband have been together for 15 years. They met in college and have been together since the time of their very first meeting.

We genuinely love her husband, “Danny,” and consider him our son.

They have a one-year-old child and we absolutely adore our grandson.

Danny’s job is challenging and he is very successful. Our daughter is taking a break from her own career to be home with their baby, because Danny travels a lot.

Last weekend our daughter told us that Danny has cheated on her. She is devastated, and so are we. We are so disappointed in him and feel completely deceived by him.

Our daughter told us that she and Danny are trying to work things out. She says they intend to stay together and that she absolutely wants to stay married to him.

We worry about her self-esteem and think it’s not a good idea for her to stay married to someone who has been unfaithful to her.

My wife and I want her to call a lawyer, but we are torn about sharing our opinion with her.

What do you think?

– Torn Parents

Dear Parents: Couples do recover from episodes of cheating.

When it comes to your daughter’s marriage, it’s a mistake for you to attach to a specific outcome.

If she asks for your advice about what you believe she should do, you should be honest with her. Otherwise, keep your opinion to yourself.

If you share your view, you should also say that you understand this is complicated, that it is her marriage – not yours – and that you will absolutely be in her corner, no matter what.

If she stays with her husband, you should also be honest with him. Tell him (privately) you’re disappointed in his choice but that you hope they can recover.

If you put him down or react with anger, you may paint your daughter into a difficult corner. She could feel the need to defend him and thus distance herself from you.

Dear Amy: I am originally from Europe and have lived in Los Angeles for more than 55 years – so naturally, I consider LA my home.

Often in a group setting when I’m introduced to new people, I’ll say that I’m from LA.

A woman recently responded to this by saying, “You don’t have an LA accent.”

Just as it is rude to comment on someone’s weight, shape, or appearance, I would think it’s inappropriate to comment on someone’s accent and how they speak/sound.

I don’t feel it’s necessary to divulge the country where I spent my childhood years. Furthermore, I don’t want to respond to queries of this nature at all.

Is a response even necessary when it was not really a question, but merely a statement?

– Dan, in Los Angeles

Dear Dan: I’m curious about what a Los Angeles accent sounds like.

Is it the up-talking popularized by “Valley girls” in the ’80s? The Kardashian’s low throated vocal fry? The Spanish-inflected accent of some of the almost 50 percent of the Los Angeles population who are Hispanic?

My point is that in a cosmopolitan melting pot like your home city, many accents qualify as being “totally LA.”

The unkindest assumption is to believe that the person you quote was really trying to figure out whether you are “American,” or to imply that you are not.

This “where are you from” intimation comes off as rude to Americans like you – who may have been born elsewhere – because it paints you as “other.”

The kinder assumption is that someone asking about your accent is looking for a way to connect. They may believe that you and they share a similar ethnic or regional background. Or they’re trying (in a clunky way) to start a conversation.

If this is posed as a question, you can respond: “I’ve lived in Los Angeles for over half a century; this is my hometown.”

If this is posed as a statement (“You don’t have an LA accent,”) you can respond by deflecting and asking where they grew up.

Or you can say, “Hmmm. How about that?”

Dear Amy: “Sad and Confused” was upset when their long-time friends basically snapped their vacation rental of many years out from under them.

There is an ethic among people who rent hard-to-find vacation houses: Renters ruthlessly protect their rental weeks, and if friends poach, it means the friendship is basically over.

– Island Renter

Dear Renter: I tend to agree.