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by Abigail Van Buren

Happy Wife Is Losing Sleep Over Dreams of First Love

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are approaching our fifth wedding anniversary. Apart from the usual problems you encounter in marriage (money, family, etc.), things have been very good. My husband is a loving and attentive man. I love him and feel lucky to have him in my life.

So here's my problem. During the past few years, I have had dreams about my first love whom I met in high school. I was 14 and he was 17. The relationship was wonderful, but because I was so young and due to many problems in my life, our relationship ended after a few years. I am afraid I hurt him terribly. He seemed to never want to give up on "us," but as the years went on we grew apart.

At the age of 21, I attempted a reconciliation with him, but when he found out that I had "been" with another man, it was too much for him to handle. That was the end of us. I seemed to get on with my life and forget about him. I dated, and eventually met my future husband.

Abby, the dreams have become much more intense over the years. At first, my "first love" would appear in an occasional dream. Now I am having dreams where we are getting back together or we are professing our love for each other. One week, I had four dreams four nights in a row. I wake up feeling sad, and I am in a hazy state of mind because I feel I'm being pulled back into the past with a young man I used to love so dearly.

I am confused, and I feel bad because I love my husband and can't bear to tell him the dreams I've been having. I don't want to hurt him. I am hoping this is just a phase that will pass. Any advice you can give me will be greatly appreciated. -- LOST IN A DREAM

DEAR LOST: Romanticizing one's first love is very common. As the years roll by, people tend to minimize the pain and magnify the emotions.

I'm no expert in the interpretation of dreams, but I can tell you this: Dreams are rarely literal. It might be interesting for you to analyze what this man symbolizes in your life.

Since these dreams are recurrent and causing you discomfort, you could greatly ease your mind by discussing them with a psychoanalyst. He or she will be able to help you discover their real meaning and what's causing them.

DEAR ABBY: I am amused by the various opinions about life in recreational vehicles. They brought to mind a conversation I had with a cousin in De Smet, S.D., who owns a general store and restaurant.

When I remarked about the large size of the parking area, he replied that it had to accommodate the number of recreational vehicles during hunting season. I said that I had no desire to own one, and he said that anyone who is thinking about purchasing that kind of vehicle should take the following test:

"Take your wife, children, the dog and cat into your largest bathroom, along with some snacks and beverages. Turn on the shower and stay for two days, and if you enjoy your 'vacation,' buy an RV!"

I took his advice to heart. I now travel in my sedan and stay in hotels. -- ROBERT O. JOHNS, RENO, NEV.

DEAR ROBERT: Your cousin is a wit! In defense of RVs, there are millions of satisfied customers on the roads who can't say enough good things about that mode of travel.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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