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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: For the past six years, my husband and I have vacationed in Florida, where our friends "Myrtle" and "Gary" share their home with us for a week. We aren't moochers; we buy groceries, pay for their meals when we eat out, and drive our car when we go places.

This year, however, something strange happened. Myrtle came to the breakfast table wearing only a transparent lace nightgown. Nothing was left to the imagination. This happened twice, but since my husband and I were guests in their home, I was reluctant to suggest that she wear a robe. Perhaps she meant nothing by it, but she made other subtle passes at my husband during our stay.

I kept quiet because I feared that if I objected or made a scene, the vacation would be ruined for everyone.

My husband was also taken aback by Myrtle's bold display. Neither of us can imagine why she behaved this way after all our years of friendship.

What should I have done? And what should I do if she repeats this seductive behavior next year? -- CONFUSED UP NORTH

DEAR CONFUSED: It's water under the bridge now, but at the time, you could have talked to her privately and suggested that she cover herself appropriately, or you and your husband could have packed up and moved to a hotel.

Next year, decline their hospitality and make hotel reservations -- and if they ask you why, tell them.

DEAR ABBY: I have been divorced from my wife for several years and I now live with my girlfriend. My ex-wife and my girlfriend have become very friendly and spend extended periods of time on the telephone with each other. This makes me very uncomfortable.

I have made my feelings clear to both of them, but I cannot insist they stop. They have the right to choose their own friends.

Is it common for ex-wives and girlfriends to take a shine to one another, or is this unusual? -- UNCOMFORTABLE IN PHOENIX

DEAR UNCOMFORTABLE: Consider yourself fortunate. Many individuals find it impossible to keep peace between ex-partners and the person with whom they are currently involved.

Do not assume that the two are spending time talking about you. More than likely, they simply enjoy conversing with each other. Enjoy their friendship, and let them do the same.

DEAR ABBY: The letter from "Concerned Dad in Batavia, Ill.," whose wife was verbally abusing their son, prompts this letter.

I am now 43 and my mother has been dead for eight years, but I can still hear her calling me "four-eyes" because I had to wear glasses. She told me I was no good and would never amount to anything.

My mother's harsh words and physical battering left my brother and me guilt-ridden and traumatized. I became an introvert and never married because I never felt good enough for anyone. My brother, an extrovert, is on his fourth marriage. Neither of us has children. Only recently have I gained enough confidence to speak up in public.

My father, a fine man, saw it all and never said a word. Although I love him, a part of me hates him for it. Since becoming an adult, I try not to blame anyone, but I always felt Dad should have stepped in when I was younger.

Please tell "Concerned Dad" that if he doesn't intervene, his son could be messed up for life. -- C.J. FROM N.J.

DEAR C.J.: Although I urged "Concerned Dad" to intervene on his son's behalf and to seek counseling for both his wife and their son, I hope he also reads your letter. Hearing firsthand from an adult who is still suffering from the effects of verbal abuse should have more impact than any advice I can offer.

Abby shares more of her favorite, easy-to-prepare recipes. To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, More Favorite Recipes, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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