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by Abigail Van Buren

Man Reconciling With Wife Discovers Unexpected Rival

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I recently got back together after a year's separation. I made a lot of mistakes and have been trying hard to make it up to her. We are now getting along better than ever.

There is, however, a terrible, nagging doubt in my mind. In the year that we were separated, my wife became good friends with a lesbian. I would never have suspected anything more than a good friendship existed, except for two reasons: First of all, things between us are great everywhere except in bed. I'm not the most sensitive guy, but her lack of enthusiasm in this department is obvious.

Second, one day last week I was supposed to meet her at her office for lunch. When I arrived, there was a note for me to wait in her office until she returned from a meeting. Being curious about her various projects, I looked through her files. I came across a file with the gay woman's name on it. I couldn't resist. I read through it and was shocked. In the file was a collection of beautiful love letters and poems written by this woman to my wife. Some of the poems were very erotic.

Abby, I can't stop thinking about the possibility that my wife was -- or still is -- lovers with this woman. It's torturing me. Should I confront her with my suspicions or should I keep my mouth shut? -- TORTURED IN OREGON

DEAR TORTURED: Whether you should confront her depends upon how much you want to know. Think the matter through carefully. How will it affect your reconciliation if you confirm that your wife did have a lesbian relationship during your separation, that she is still having one, or that she's bisexual? You will then have to decide if you can accept her as she is, or whether it's back to square one in your marriage -- again facing a split.

Of course, only you can make the decision, but I advise you to proceed with extreme caution.