DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 11 years. My husband began working the night shift, and after about 10 months of his throwing a co-worker and her family and me and my child together for barbecues, parties, etc., I found a love letter to him.
My husband and I are living in the same house until we can afford to get divorced or separated. The woman keeps calling here saying ugly things to me and calling me names. My soon-to-be-ex has told me they had only a one-time fling and they are "just friends" now. What should I do about the other woman? I want to be left alone, but it will be another month or so before I can move out.
She is married with children and her husband is willing to work it out with her, but I am pretty sure he doesn't know she is still calling here, and my husband is still calling her. I believe their affair is still going on, because once you catch a liar you never know what the truth is. -- DEBBIE IN MEMPHIS
DEAR DEBBIE: It appears the "other woman" is trying to harass and stampede you. Are you sure that separation or divorce is what you really want? Perhaps counseling for you and your husband could help to heal your marriage. It has worked in countless other cases.
Since your husband says they are "just friends," tell him that you want the harassment to stop or you will ask the woman's husband to stop it. He'll see that she gets the message. If the calls continue -- keep your word.
DEAR ABBY: I'm responding to the letter from "Proud Mother in Illinois," who wrote that her daughter asked for, and received, a promise ring. I agree that these rings are a good idea. They promote conversations about serious topics such as sex, drugs and alcohol.
Abby, in my high school, men as well as women wear these rings as a symbol of their morals and beliefs.
What I wish to comment on is your statement that this custom allows parents and daughters to discuss and reinforce their family values. That comment is a stereotypical example of something my age group is trying to overcome and terminate. Girls should not be the only ones expected to abstain from premarital sex; boys should be expected to do the same. It is still commonly felt that girls are regarded as "sluts" if they participate in sexual activities, but men are admired because they are "players" or "studs."
If a family has both a son and a daughter, they should instill the same morals in both of them. If their daughter should save sex for marriage, so should their son.
Abby, your comment took us back to the age of the double standard -- something this generation is desperately trying to do away with. -- ANONYMOUS IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR ANONYMOUS: Guilty as charged. Old habits die hard. Of course I agree there should be no double standard. I apologize for the slip of the pen and will try hard not to repeat it.
CONFIDENTIAL TO ROSE PHILLIPS IN MINNEAPOLIS: Happy 100th birthday to the most wonderful mother-in-law a person could wish for!
Abby shares her favorite recipes in two booklets: "Abby's Favorite Recipes" and "Abby's More Favorite Recipes." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 per booklet ($4.50 each in Canada) to: Dear Abby Cookbooklets I and II, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included in price.)
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