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by Abigail Van Buren

Wife's Green-Eyed Monster Makes Husband See Red

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been happily married for nearly five years and have two adorable children. We are each other's best friend, get along great, and have a terrific sex life.

My problem: When a sexy-looking woman comes on TV, I change the channel. This infuriates my husband like you wouldn't believe. He is normally not a violent man, but he gets so angry he looks like he'd like to strangle me! This is the only thing we ever fight about. I can't stand to see the way he looks at women with low-cut dresses or miniskirts.

Yesterday, he was watching a beauty pageant, and when all the girls came out in their bikini bathing suits, I thought his eyes were going to fall out of his head!

Abby, can you blame me for changing the channel? -- JEALOUS

DEAR JEALOUS: Yes. If your marriage has survived five years of channel-changing because of your jealousy, your husband must love you very much.

Grow up. The problem isn't your husband's -- it's yours. Since you can't stand to see him appreciating the sight of a provocative female on TV, you should leave the room.

DEAR ABBY: I have had this problem for years, and it keeps getting worse: my teeth.

I have no dental plan and I'm unemployed right now. Abby, I hide my teeth 24 hours a day. If someone talks to me, I turn my head and pretend to be interested in something to one side, so he won't see my teeth. I don't even brush my teeth in front of a mirror because I get too depressed. I often have dreams about my teeth falling out with all my friends watching and laughing. It's a living nightmare.

Abby, I feel like my life is going nowhere. If I could just get my teeth fixed, a whole new world would open up to me. Meanwhile, I'm ... KEEPING MY MOUTH SHUT

DEAR KEEPING: Schools of dentistry (as well as state and local dental societies) operate dental clinics where low-cost -- or free -- dental care is available for those who qualify.

Your county dental society should be listed in your telephone directory. And any dentist can refer you to the nearest dental college.

Do not delay. Your general health can be undermined by infected gums and decaying teeth.

DEAR ABBY: A friend gave me an idea she said came from your column years ago that solved the "thank-you note" problem in her family. I use it with my two children and it works!

They may not spend the money, play with the toy or wear the clothing until their thank-you notes are written. I began this practice when they were too young to do it for themselves. Now, my 5-year-old dictates his note to me and I write it verbatim (which amazes him) and then he signs it! My 9-year-old does it herself.

I have tried to remind them if they were the sender, they would like to know how the recipient felt about the gift -- or even if it arrived. -- LINDA BYZEWSKI, KINGMAN, ARIZ.

To get Abby's booklet "How to Write Letters for All Occasions," send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)

4900 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64112; (816) 932-6600