Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I must disagree with your response to "Trying to Forget," the woman who had slept with the husband of a co-worker at her new job. You told her to forget it and treat "Bill" as though she had never seen him.

My husband of nine years had an affair, and we are now divorcing. As it turns out, he was sleeping with an ex-girlfriend while we were engaged and living together 10 years. He also had a couple of other affairs I recently found out about, and I hear he's sleeping around on the woman he's been having the affair with for two years.

The sad thing is that employees of his, friends and acquaintances say he always was a womanizer. I wish someone had clued me in long ago that my husband couldn't be trusted. We have a 5-year-old daughter who is devastated her daddy left, and I had to be tested for STDs and HIV. Because my husband didn't use protection, I may have been exposed to a multitude of diseases.

I'm not sure how it should be done, but this wife needs to know what her husband has been up to, since "Trying to Forget" probably wasn't his only affair.

By the way, I wish I'd listened to you 12 years ago, when I wrote you that my boyfriend liked to go out without me. You told me to leave him. Unfortunately, that's the guy I married and am now divorcing. I guess I had to find out the hard way -- once a playboy, always a playboy. -- NO LONGER CLUELESS, OLYMPIA, WASH.

DEAR NO LONGER CLUELESS: "Trying to Forget" asked me how she could co-exist in a working environment with "Bill's" wife -- and I can think of few things less conducive to a professional relationship than for one colleague to tell another that she's slept with her cheating husband. Her motives could be misunderstood, and the woman might think it was an attempt to break up the marriage.

As to your own womanizing husband, don't beat yourself up about what you "should" have done 12 years ago. Be grateful that you finally came to your senses and did what you had to do. Some people NEVER learn.

DEAR ABBY: I have a request for "Snapping Away in Greer, S.C.," who always serves as the photo historian for get-togethers. Please stop taking my picture when I specifically ask you not to. You often ignore my request and snap away anyway. I am not being shy; I genuinely don't want my picture taken.

It is beyond my comprehension how these individuals can be so rude and disrespectful of one's wish for privacy. -- WANT MY PRIVACY IN PHOENIX

DEAR WANT MY PRIVACY: It is all too frequently forgotten that respecting the wishes of others is a social grace. When individuals request that their picture not be taken, photographers should resist the urge to pursue it. They should look elsewhere -- they'll soon find a "ham" and then both can both enjoy the camera.

READERS, PONDER THIS: "All great things are decided not by machines or gadgets, but by willpower. Whoever has it will finally prevail." -- WINSTON CHURCHILL

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.)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600