Emily Yoffe in her "Dear Prudence" column today responded to a reader who wrote in that her husband had a two year affair with their 20-something nanny. I couldn't resist responding in a comment to the exchange.  The question, Yoffe's reponse and my comment follow:
Q. Stopping Former Nanny From Sleeping With Other Dads: My children attended a wonderful preschool until they turned 5. When our youngest child left the preschool my husband and I hired their favorite caretaker, twentysomething Kate, to be their part-time nanny. Over the past three years, Kate has practically become part of our family. Last year, I wrote her a recommendation that helped her gain entry into a prestigious special-education college program. Last week, I found out Kate and my husband have been carrying on an affair for two years. I don't know yet if my marriage will be salvageable, but Kate is no longer working for us. I know Kate wants to continue to work as a child care provider. I think that if most moms and facilities knew about her past, they wouldn't give her the time of day. I'm also worried she'll betray other families the way she betrayed mine. I'm not sure how to make sure she doesn't work in a child care setting without going down a seriously psychotic path, like mass-emailing every day care in our city. Should I do my best to forget about Kate? Or is there a sane and justified way I can keep her from hurting other families?

A: How horrible to find you've brought such a viper into your home. The pain of this infidelity is magnified by the intimacy Kate has been granted to your family, and by finding out you are living the most tawdry of domestic clich√©s. You have a lot facing you. You must deal with this betrayal, decide the future of your marriage, and look out for your children's emotional well-being. That means there's no room in your life for Kate. (Remember the real miscreant here is your husband. He either initiated the affair or came hither in response to her come-hither glances.) Of course you'd like to have a disclaimer follow Kate for life: "Hire her and she'll screw your husband." You'd probably like to see it posted on the entrance gates to her college. But you need to focus on what you can control, not how to exact revenge against the babysitter. However, if she works her way through college by working for other families, and one happens to call you for a reference, you can succinctly explain the reason you had to let Kate go.

PL: Oh please! I'm a grown-up, sexually vibrant 50-something man and I can't imagine carrying on an affair with a 20-something nanny. You know why? Because my 50-something wife and I have worked on ourselves and worked on our marriage throughout the years to keep it thriving. We have a great sex-life and a high level of open communication that would make it absurd for one of us to have an affair - in our own home, no less! - without the other knowing. Stop using words like "betrayal" to create the illusion of victimhood when the people in question, mainly the older married couple, are clearly not taking responsibility for what's amiss in the relationship. The nanny did them a favor.
Peter Loffredo, LCSW 


Sonia said...

I was crushed when my lover of three years left to be with another woman. I cried and sobbed every day, until it got so bad that I reached out to the Internet for help. I threw away so much money on fake spell casters - all for nothing - until I hit on the real thing. And that is you, Lord Shiva. You were different from all the rest - you are the diamond in the rough. Thank you from the depths of my soul! I am extremely happy now with him back and better. I hope God blesses you as much as He has blessed me. Love, visit him on ( or he can be a great help to you all.

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