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.
DEAR ABBY: The letter in your column about donating used wedding dresses to the local little theater prompts this letter.
My sister-in-law, Mary, thought of a unique way to recycle her wedding dress. When her twin daughters made their first communion, Mary used it to make a dress for each girl.
Later, one of my nieces had her first communion dress made into a christening dress for her children. -- ARDELL NADESAN, BEMIDJI, MINN.
DEAR ARDELL: That's a clever idea for anyone who has a talent for sewing -- convert the gown into a family heirloom.
DEAR ABBY: This is in response to "Chatty Catherine" in Nashville.
If talking to oneself is a sign of senility or insanity, then I have been one or the other since age 7. (I am now 44.) My earliest recollection is being reminded by my mother not to answer myself.
Over the years, I've made peace with my tendency to talk to myself out loud. I used to do it because I was uncomfortable with silence. As my spiritual growth has progressed over the years, I've discovered it is a way of maintaining a closer relationship with God, as I perceive him. Thinking of it as prayer, I am perfectly at peace with my chatty nature.
My mother always said, when caught talking to herself, "I'm talking to someone I know has some sense!"
Abby, please tell Catherine that there's nothing wrong with us -- we simply like who we're with! -- NO LONGER SELF-CONSCIOUS IN PENNSYLVANIA
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