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by Abigail Van Buren

Couple's Special Wedding Gift Has Value to Others as Well

DEAR ABBY: I hope that 27-year-old married woman who told you she fantasized about kissing her "friend" will listen to what I have to say on the subject. I was the same age she is when I headed down that path, and I have a few tips I'd like to pass on:

Not only is that man not her friend, he's her enemy, her husband's enemy, and an enemy to her marriage. Long before she has ceased obsessing over that scoundrel, he will have forgotten her and moved on to his next victim. He will pull her down to his level until she has rationalized away her illicit behavior and no longer cares what it does to her marriage.

That little "adventure" will create in her a wandering spirit that no number of liaisons with him -- or the next suitor -- will satisfy. Her acquaintances will consider her loose and easy whether she consummates the flirtation or just plays around.

Full-blown affairs always begin with "harmless" little flirtations -- which are neither harmless nor little. While she's enjoying her trysts, she is robbing her husband of the mental, emotional and physical affection that is due him alone. The affair will leave permanent scars on her and her marriage that time will not erase.

How I wish someone had taken me aside and shared these facts with me. I was selfish and foolish, and have nothing to show for it but a divided and sorrowful heart. Abby, I hope she realizes before it's too late that it's up to her to direct her energies toward keeping her marriage alive and well, and that her husband needs her full attention. -- VOICE OF EXPERIENCE, PORTSMOUTH, N.H.

DEAR VOICE: I agree. The young woman who was tempted to act on her strong attraction to her "friend" is playing with fire. I hope she'll listen to you, if she wasn't inclined to listen to me.