DEAR ABBY: It has taken me years to write this letter.
My husband and I were married 35 years when he died suddenly. I adored him. He was my whole world.
A few years later I was putting my life back together when out of the blue, my "best friend" told me my husband had had an affair, and she could prove it. All his pallbearers knew about it. After much looking back, I knew it was true. I was devastated and have been in therapy for several years.
I would like to thank all of those who knew and kept silent. When a person dies, let all secrets be buried with him.
I cry as I write this, Abby. I loved him so much. Perhaps my letter will keep someone from hurting a person who is already hurting. -- WOUNDED IN MIDLAND, TEXAS
DEAR WOUNDED: A person who pours salt on the wound of someone who is already hurting is not a "friend"; she is a troublemaker. All you had left of your marriage were your memories, and I have to wonder why someone would want to destroy them. I hope that your years of therapy have helped you put your feelings of anger and betrayal into perspective, and to focus on the many wonderful years you had together -- because in the long run that is all that's important. You have years of life ahead of you, and it would be a tragedy if you spent them crying over something that no one can change and was better left unsaid.
DEAR ABBY: The recent letter in your column about jury duty prompts this letter. How do we ever get a jury of our peers when the selection process weeds out anyone who has read a newspaper or listened to the news in the last five years? They seem to want only brain-dead jurors. -- ARLEN B., HERCULES, CALIF.
DEAR ARLEN: During the last decade or so, the jury selection process has become very sophisticated -- and counsel for both sides usually have specific criteria in mind as they go through the process. If I had to name the No. 1 complaint I receive from readers about jury duty, it's that so little money is paid to jurors that they fear it would cause financial hardship to their families. Someone has to pay for the groceries while the jurors sit in judgment.
DEAR ABBY: I thought you'd be interested to know that the story of the wife and mother in a sinking boat was used for courses for Western men who would be doing business in the Far East to show contrasts in the way the two cultures differ.
When presented with the choice of saving the wife or the mother, most men brought up in a Western culture chose to save their wife. The men brought up in an Eastern culture would choose to save their mother -- the rationale being that it was possible to have another wife, but one could never have another mother. -- DIFFERENT STROKES, LAKELAND, FLA.
DEAR DIFFERENT: That's why it's so important for women to know how to paddle their own canoes.
Abby shares her favorite recipes in two booklets: "Abby's Favorite Recipes" and "Abby's More Favorite Recipes." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 per booklet ($4.50 each in Canada) to: Dear Abby Booklets, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in price.)
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