DEAR ABBY: My wife, "Paula," and I have a friend I'll call "Mark." I recently learned that before our wedding, Mark made a pass at Paula. (He was separated from his wife at the time.) Paula told him she wasn't interested.

I also found out that Paula kissed Mark while we were having some difficulties during the past couple of years. But when Mark and his wife worked things out, he told Paula the behavior had to end.

When I ask my wife about these things, she's honest and tells me what happened. I try to keep an open mind and get past it, but haven't been able to.

It doesn't help that Mark visits Paula at her job several times a week, and she stays there socializing with him after she's done working. I'd estimate they spend at least 10 hours a week together. I don't like to be around them anymore because they're always touching and poking each other. I actually counted 22 "touches" once when I was with them for a couple of hours.

I have told my wife I'm uncomfortable with their relationship, especially because of the past kissing business. She says I should stop being insecure and that they're just friends. I feel she is choosing their friendship over our marriage. Please help me figure out what to do. -- LEFT OUT IN MAINE

DEAR LEFT OUT: Mark isn't your friend. And to say that Paula is insensitive to your feelings would be an understatement. What makes you uncomfortable is their obvious physical attraction, an example of which is the fact they can't keep their hands off each other.

Because you can't seem to get through to your wife, enlist the help of a licensed marriage counselor. Tell Paula you're making an appointment with a therapist and invite her along. If she refuses, go without her. What's happening is unfair to you, and you need an ally.

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DEAR ABBY: I am slightly overweight and want to lose 5 to 10 pounds. I admittedly have little self-control and always eat whatever is put in front of me.

My problem is my wife continues to stock cookies, ice cream and other goodies in the house. Even though I have asked her on many occasions to stop, she refuses to honor my requests. She says "the kids" shouldn't have to suffer because of my lack of self-control.

Abby, I'd like our kids to eat better, too. What should I do? I'd hate to split up over this issue because we have preteens and everything else is going well. -- FRUSTRATED IN SAN DIEGO

DEAR FRUSTRATED: The print and television media have, for some time, been filled with stories about the importance of children learning healthy eating habits and urging parents to not only stock the fridge and pantry with healthy snacks, but also to set a good example. Your wife may have missed all of this, or she may have some ulterior motive for making sure you don't lose the weight.

Should this end an otherwise good marriage? No, but please understand that if you do not draw the line, your children may also wind up paying the price.

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