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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are totally incompatible in the bedroom. I am not talking about sex; I'm talking about our sleep habits.

Tom likes the windows open with the room air cool, the radio playing, and the curtains open so the morning light streams in.

I like to be warm, so I object to the cool air as well as the street noise. I prefer the room to be dark and quiet, and I can't fall asleep to music playing or sleep through bright lights in the morning.

I've tried earplugs to block out the sound, but they don't always work -- and besides I want to be able to hear my kids. We do have an electric blanket with dual controls, but aside from regulating it, there are other issues we can't agree on.

Please help! Don't suggest sleeping in different rooms. We don't have a spare bedroom. -- SLEEPLESS AND SUFFERING

DEAR SLEEPLESS: You and your husband should compromise in the bedroom. Tell him if he'll agree to turn off the music or use a headset, you'll agree to leaving the windows open. Then, wear warmer nightclothes and buy a sleep mask at the drugstore to block the morning light. You both need to "give" a little.

DEAR ABBY: Five years ago, my 20-year-old marriage was destroyed by my husband's obsession with another woman. My childhood was anything but secure, so my marriage meant the world to me -- so much so that I swallowed my pride and tried everything to save the marriage.

We went to marriage counseling and I changed jobs so I would have more time for my husband. Well, he left me anyway. He wasn't the only one with zero respect for me -- I had none for myself.

For weeks I slept with a knife under my pillow hoping I would wake up with enough courage to end my miserable life. However, by what I believe was divine intervention, I was asked to volunteer at the Humane Society, and it saved my life. Those homeless animals needed me.

After I had regained some of my self-esteem, I moved to Hawaii and found a studio on several acres of land where I could operate a facility to rescue abused animals. Never had I known such peace and fulfillment.

When I was married, I was afraid of displeasing my husband or his family. Now, I please myself, and I can't imagine living that other life again.

I wrote this to encourage all those who are devastated at the breakup of a marriage and think there's no life after divorce. There is, and it can be a better life. Mahalo. -- RECOVERED DIVORCEE

DEAR DIVORCEE: Thank you for an inspiring letter. It seems to be true that when one door closes, another opens -- usually for the better.

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