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Ask Amy: Long-time affair leads to post-mortem drama

Dear Amy: I had a 15-year affair with a married man (“Marshall”), who then ended his marriage in order to be with me exclusively.

Marshall and I continued our relationship for another four years before he died unexpectedly.

His siblings are handling the funeral and arrangements. They have been very kind toward me in my time of loss.

However, his ex-wife is not very fond of me and will be attending the services with her and Marshall’s four grown children.

She has expressed that it’s inappropriate to invite me or include me in any way, due to me being a “homewrecker” and destroying their marriage.

I understand her bitterness and anger toward me — however I am also mourning the loss of someone I cared deeply about.

I don’t want to cause a strain on Marshall’s family or children, so I am asking for your advice. Should I be respectful to his ex-wife’s wishes and not attend this service, or am I justified in attending as well?

— Mourning In Ohio

Dear Mourning: “Marshall’s” ex-wife has already declared that your presence at her ex-husband’s funeral will stress her, so if you truly don’t want to cause a “strain on “Marshall’s family or children,” then by all means stay away from your partner’s funeral.

However, ex-spouses don’t have the right to control access to their former spouse’s remains after the ex-spouse dies. It’s called “divorce” for a reason. Divorce severs legal and marital ties, even if it doesn’t sever emotional ones.

(And someone needs to get the memo that the deceased was also a “homewrecker,” destroying his marriage.)

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