DEAR ABBY: I desperately need some advice. I am a physician, married to a beautiful woman for 20 years, and we have three teen-age children. My wife and I are in our 40s.
In 1995, my wife confessed she had a seven-year affair with my best friend. He would come to our house after I went to work and they would have sex in our bed. Although my wife never showed me any affection during that period, I blamed it on the strain of raising three children, never suspecting her infidelity.
She let word of the illicit affair slip when I teased her about her old boyfriends. I was devastated, but I didn't let on. She apologized, and our marriage continued for the sake of the children. In the last two years, my wife has been especially loving and affectionate toward me.
Earlier this year, my married sister-in-law (I'll call her Marie) stayed with us for four months. She confided to me that she had an unsatisfactory sex life with her husband. One thing led to another, and we slept together several times. Marie has since returned home.
Now I feel guilty and would like to confess this indiscretion to my wife to clear my conscience, but I am not sure how she'll react.
Though it will even things out, I do not want to hurt my wife or expose Marie's behavior. Should I tell my wife about the affair with her sister? -- ONLY HUMAN IN KENTUCKY
DEAR ONLY HUMAN: I question your motives for confession. Remember the pain that your wife's confession caused you? While confessing may be good for the soul, it will undoubtedly hurt others. I suggest you confess to your clergy instead.
DEAR ABBY: A few years ago, you printed a piece about a place called "The Rainbow Bridge" -- where our pets go when they die.
Often, over the last few years, I wish I had saved the article to give to friends whose pets have passed away. I try to tell them about it, but I know I can't do justice to the beautifully written tribute.
I'm sure if you reprinted it, many would find comfort from it. -- WAITING HOPEFULLY, MIDDLESEX, MASS.
DEAR WAITING HOPEFULLY: It has been several years since I printed "The Rainbow Bridge," and I'm pleased to share it once again:
THE RAINBOW BRIDGE
There is a bridge connecting Heaven and Earth. It is called the Rainbow Bridge because of its many colors. Just this side of the Rainbow Bridge, there is a land of meadows, hills and valleys with lush green grass.
When a beloved pet dies, the pet goes to this place. There is always food and water and warm spring weather. The old and frail animals are young again. Those who are maimed are made whole again. They play all day with each other.
There is only one thing missing: They are not with their special person who loved them on Earth. So, each day they run and play until the day comes when one suddenly looks up! The nose twitches. The ears are up. The eyes are staring. And this one suddenly runs from the group.
You have been seen, and when you and your special friend meet, you take him or her in your arms and embrace. Your face is kissed again and again and again, and you look once more into the eyes of your trusting pet.
Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together, never again to be separated.
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