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by Abigail Van Buren

Hickey on Husband's Neck Tells Truth Behind His Lie

DEAR ABBY: A few years ago, when I was in the hospital for complications during my third pregnancy, my husband walked into my hospital room with a large hickey on his neck. He reeked of alcohol and was wearing the same clothes he had worn the night before. I looked him over and saw another hickey -- only bigger -- on the other side of his neck.

I asked him where he got the hickeys and he said he didn't know what I was talking about, so I told him to go look in the mirror, which he did. "Oh," he said innocently, "those aren't hickeys -- that happened in a bar room scuffle. Some guy jabbed me with his elbow."

After my husband left the room, the woman in the next bed said with a knowing wink, "Hey, what were you two doing behind those curtains?" When I asked her what she meant, she said she had seen a big hickey on my husband's neck.

I have tried to just forget about it, but I can't. Abby, why is this still bugging me? -- CAN'T FORGET

DEAR CAN'T: It's bugging you because your husband lied to you and when you confronted him, instead of admitting it -- he lied again.

You need to resolve this and put it behind you. If your husband values his marriage, he will get into counseling with you. If he refuses, go without him. Your husband appears to have a lot of growing up to do.

He also may have a drinking problem, and unless he changes his behavior and gets help, he could wake up one day and discover that he has thrown away a good wife and three children.