DEAR ABBY: I had an affair with a married man several years ago. It ended, and now I am friends with his wife. I want very much to tell her about the affair because I feel so guilty about it. I see her every day. She has joined the same church I go to, put her kids in the same school as my kids, and we go to all the same parties and have the same friends.
Everyone knows about the affair except her, and I feel uncomfortable every time I talk to her husband or when conversations arise regarding cheating. I know Ill feel more comfortable around her if I get this off my chest. Should I tell her?
DEAR FEELING GUILTY: I see no reason to make this woman suffer so that you can feel better. If you feel you MUST confess, confess to someone who wont be hurt to hear the news such as a clergyman. Theyve heard just about everything.
DEAR ABBY: Please tell me how to politely inform our friends that their daughter, Jane, who is 12 and a special-needs child, needs a bra. My wife picks up Jane and our daughter every day after school, and their teacher has asked us to talk to her parents. Janes parents seem oblivious to the obvious.
Please help, before the situation gets any bigger.
DEAR PERPLEXED: The person to discuss this with Janes parents should first be the teacher. If she has already done so and your friends continue to ignore the problem, then your wife should approach Janes mother and say something and perhaps offer to go shopping with them. Its possible that they are in denial about the fact that their baby is becoming a woman.
DEAR ABBY: Im a 20-year-old college student caught in a turmoil of emotion. My parents were divorced two years ago. It left my mother and me on our own. Not long after, to my great joy, my mom was back in the dating world.
I was shocked the night Mom brought one of her dates home to meet me. She later explained that it was time for me to become aware of her new lifestyle. She was now living her life as a lesbian, and I had to accept it.
I immediately moved in with my father and refused to return my mothers phone calls. I miss her, but I cant come to terms with this. What should I do?
DESPERATE IN DETROIT
DEAR DESPERATE: Judge not, lest ye be judged.
DEAR ABBY: I recently inherited a substantial amount of money from my great-grandmother. I want to start a college fund for my younger cousins.
Heres the problem: My uncle (their father) has two children with his girlfriend, who also has two children from a previous marriage. I want to give the money only to the cousins who are related to me, and announce what Im planning on my grandparents anniversary.
My fear is that I will cause a bad vibe between my uncle and me since Im excluding his stepchildren. How should I handle this?
DEAR COUSIN: Rather than make a public announcement of your intention at the celebration, I suggest you speak privately to your uncle and tell him what you have in mind. That you want to share your great-grandmothers bequest with those children who are related to her is admirable but the offer should be made with delicacy and sensitivity so that it does not cause a rift in your uncles family.
DEAR ABBY: I need your input. Young women today are wearing low-rise pants, short tops and thong underwear. While my wife and I were dining at a restaurant the other night, a woman was sitting with her back to us. She kept leaning forward over the table to talk to her date, and when she did, her top went farther up and her pants crept down, exposing the top 3 inches of her posterior with all that implies.
I didnt want to eat my dinner while looking at the great divide. My wife said to do nothing and not to look. Should I have tapped the woman on the shoulder and asked her not to bend over, or should I have asked the waiter to do something? Luckily, she and her date left before our main course was served. Its the second time this has happened. What do I do the third time?
DEAR RICHARD: Since asking a waiter to throw a tablecloth over her is impractical, you should ask to be switched to another table if the view from where you are sitting is too distracting.
Frankly, I sympathize. My husband and I were having dinner at a restaurant in Beverly Hills about a year ago, when in walked a well-known rock musician and his much-younger ladyfriend who was also wearing low-rise pants. By the time their entree was served, we were taking bets as to whether they would slide all the way off! She seemed to be aware she had a problem, because she spent a lot of time trying to hoist them back up. The designers who have foisted them on young women as fashionable ought to be spanked.
DEAR ABBY: My father started molesting me when I was 13. Other family members and friends (both male and female) also molested me during and after the time my father molested me. I have had no contact with any of these people in more than 20 years especially my father.
Some of my family want me to reconcile with Dad, but Im unwilling to do that right now. I was not his only victim. He was never punished in any way, and he has never apologized.
My counselor said that I might never reconcile with my father, which is fine with me. He has not been a part of my life for many years. I am comfortable with things the way they are, but some people just cant leave well enough alone. I could use some help with this decision. What do you think?
DEAR RELUCTANT: You are paying good money to a therapist who has given you some excellent advice. My advice to you is to listen to your therapist and stop gathering opinions from others. Your reasons for avoiding your family are rock solid.
DEAR ABBY: I am being married in a small outdoor chapel in the hills in late July. Because of the risk of forest fires, no smoking is allowed on the grounds at all. (The guests must smoke inside their cars.)
Because quite a few of the guests are longtime smokers, I feel the need to address this issue with them. What would be the most polite way without upsetting anyone?
DEAR WORRIED: I assume you and your fiance are on speaking terms with everyone youre inviting to the wedding. You should deal with this by talking to them directly. If they are so badly addicted to tobacco that they cant forgo smoking outdoors in a fire area in the middle of summer, they should not attend the ceremony. All your lives could depend on it.
Good advice for everyone teens to seniors is in The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It. To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.) Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.