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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman Puts Her Life on Hold Waiting for Man to Leave Wife

DEAR ABBY: I met a 30-year-old woman who has been waiting four years for her "boyfriend" to leave his wife. She is not the typical mistress type and receives no money or gifts from him. She has a great job and owns her own home. She has given up most of her friends because he doesn't want her to see them, and admits that she has had to change because of him.

This man is 15 years her senior, married 20 years, and has children in college. He is separated from his wife (not legally), and claims he'll get a divorce when his wife can handle it. The wife does not know he has been dating the younger woman, and the younger woman thinks he has fallen out of love with his wife. Abby, this man socializes publicly with his wife and sneaks around with my friend.

She's a beautiful girl, and a very nice one. How do I get her to open up her eyes and see that she does not "have" him? All she has is a snake that slithers from one woman to the other. When she asks me for advice and I tell her what I see, she agrees for the moment, but seems to forget it the minute he calls. Her life is passing her by while she sits around waiting for the "man of her dreams" to leave the wife he obviously still loves. Your thoughts, please. -- A FRIEND IN NEED, HIGH SPRINGS, FLA.

DEAR FRIEND: Love is blind. It's also deaf and sometimes stupid. That's why your otherwise intelligent friend is disregarding your message. It's entirely possible that the wife knows all about her, and that this arrangement will last until one of them gives this man an ultimatum -- at which point he'll dump your friend in order to save his assets. That's the most common scenario.