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by Abigail Van Buren

Wife of Straying Tomcat Utters Not Even a Meow

DEAR ABBY: What would make a wife compromise her morals, values and ideals and allow her husband of 25-plus years to stay with her, after finding out that he was a raging Casanova? This lady, after confrontation by his lover, found out that her husband has had multiple affairs that began not long after they were married. Now she is subjecting herself not only to disease, but to public humiliation.

That cat must be a humdinger -- because not only does she condone his behavior, so do his girlfriends. Abby, she is an intelligent and good-looking woman. -- A CURIOUS FRIEND

DEAR CURIOUS: Perhaps your friend likes the lifestyle to which she has become accustomed. Perhaps she loves her husband, and there are bonds between them that transcend his infidelities. No one ever really knows what ties some people together.

I find it interesting that you feel the husband's philandering is a public humiliation to his wife. It shouldn't be. Since there has been a string of infidelities throughout their more than a quarter of a century together, clearly the problem lies with him. He craves the one thing no one woman can give him -- variety.

DEAR ABBY: I am a person with a disability. Social Security, the state in which I live and my physician have classified me as handicapped, and I have a handicapped placard in my car.

Some of us who look "fine and healthy" have a hidden disability. Although I am only 39, look young for my age and appear healthy because I don't require a wheelchair or crutches, I suffer from chronic, intractable pain 24 hours a day. I am unable to walk long distances.

Abby, for the sake of all of us who do not appear to be disabled but are, please ask your readers not to use the few parking spaces reserved for the handicapped, and not to insult us or make rude comments because we "look healthy." -- JACKIE IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR JACKIE: Thank you for the reminder. Since most of us have no idea what challenges other people face every day, the able-bodied should refrain from parking in spaces reserved for those with disabilities, and give drivers with "hidden" disabilities the benefit of the doubt. Kindness and compassion should prevail.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 19-year-old, taking a year off between high school and college. I work at a university to which I would like to apply.

How do I go about asking my boss's boss for a recommendation? I don't work with him, but we know each other and talk occasionally -- mostly during coffee breaks. Lately, we've even been exchanging books and newspaper articles.

Can you offer any advice? -- SHY GUY IN ST. LOUIS

DEAR SHY GUY: To be asked to write a letter of recommendation is a compliment. It means that you think the person is important enough that the recommendation will have clout.

During your next coffee break, tell your boss's boss that you are planning to return to school next year, and would appreciate it if he/she would give you a recommendation. The person will probably be flattered and agree to do it.

Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600