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Dear Amy: Many years ago, I started a musical group with two members of my extended family. One day out of the blue, "Keith" said, "I don't want to do this anymore," and quit. This broke my heart.

A short while later, I found out that he had joined another band and had taken our one remaining band member with him; this new group recorded a number of albums, toured and had critical success.

About 20 years later, I get a letter from Keith, saying he wanted forgiveness for hurting me. I wrote back that it was not a big deal. In retrospect, that was the kind of response that I felt I should give, but it was certainly not how I felt. I was not honest with him or with myself.

In the years since, I only feel more anger about this. I was tossed aside. They could have done any number of things to ease the separation, but they didn't.

What should I do? Should I speak my feelings after all this time? And what should I do with my collection of instruments? Their value has greatly appreciated over the years.

Amy says: "It's no big deal" is very different from, "I accept your apology and forgive you."

When "Keith" wrote to you after 20 years asking for forgiveness, he was basically telling you that this episode was a big deal in his life and that he carried 20 years' worth of regret about it. "It's no big deal" is really you denying your own feelings — and his.

This long-ago rejection should not have prevented you from playing music with other people — then or now.

Perhaps you're still angry about this because you're mad at yourself for letting this stop you, musically. But you literally have nothing to lose — and much to gain — if you communicated with Keith now. Ideally you would say honestly that this did hurt you and that you've been ruminating about it for years. I hope you would also gain some perspective and choose to see this as a youthful mistake — we all make them.

Pick up those instruments. Start a geezer band in your garage.

She lost the 'fire'

Dear Amy: I've been married for 10 years. About two years ago I had an emotional affair; it was never physical. The affair ended when I realized I wanted to stay with my family.

My husband and I have three kids and I didn't want them to have divorced parents the way I did.

I still feel as if I am not "in love" with my husband. I just feel so conflicted because I want an intact family unit, but I just don't have this fire or passion for my husband, regardless of what I do to try and help the marriage. I am scared to jump either way because he's a great man and father. I don't want to do to my kids what my parents did to me.

Our home is actually happy and peaceful. I just feel as if we are only "friends."

What can I do?

Amy says: I respect the research of John Gottman, who has studied married couples for decades. In his book, "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work" (2015, Harmony), he and co-author Nan Silver outline practices that successfully married people undertake to keep their marriages strong. Your fondness and respect for your husband gets you partway there.

Understand that many parents of three young children stop communicating meaningfully. You don't mention your husband's fire or passion, relative to yours, but you two can recover through a deliberate practice of connection. Read Gottman's book together as the first step of deepening your intimacy.

Send Ask Amy questions to Amy Dickinson at

askamy@amydickinson.com. Twitter: @askingamy