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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: We hear so much about "the other woman" and how slim her chances are for getting her lover to leave his wife. But I have never seen my problem in your column. My son is the "other man." Abby, what do you think the chances are that a beautiful girl will leave a very wealthy husband, even though they fight and she professes to truly love my son?

He makes very little money compared to his girlfriend's husband.

I'd like to know if many men out there have ever been in this situation and how they resolved it.

Please don't sign my name or mention the name of my city. My son would "kill" me if he knew he was being discussed in "Dear Abby." But I hate seeing him constantly depressed because he can't marry the girl of his dreams. -- CONCERNED MOTHER

DEAR MOTHER: I have no reliable figures on the number of women who have left rich husbands to pursue true love. One thing is certain, however. If a woman leaves the comforts of wealth for a man of modest means, she must truly love him.

If your son had asked me, I would have given him the same advice that I give to all "other women": "Get on with your life and find an available person to love; the cards are stacked against you." Waiting for a married lover to leave his (or her) spouse, can be the longest wait in the world.

DEAR ABBY: Five years ago, I married a nice man who had been married before. (This is my first marriage.)

I am a professional woman with a demanding career and plenty of money of my own. My husband recently told me that his mother had her other son (who is in law enforcement) run my name through the FBI computer. Of course, they turned up nothing. I am furious! He said his mother did it as a "joke."

I am offended and hurt and no longer want to spend time with his family. Fortunately, he is not very close to them.

The problem I foresee is we would like to have a child. If we do, I'd like to know how I can keep this nasty woman out of our lives. Though my husband knows how I feel about his mother's behavior, she would be the child's only grandparent. And I'm afraid he'd give in and let her run our lives.

Please help me, and do not use my name since this is a small city. -- WORRIED ABOUT THE FUTURE

DEAR WORRIED: Your mother-in-law was a mile out of line, and owes you an apology. I don't blame you for keeping your distance. Since you are concerned about what her role will be should you have children, the best time to come to a meeting of the minds with your husband is now, before the problems presents itself. Reach an agreement now so that you can stand united when the time comes.

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-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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