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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I'm in my late 30s and have no one to confide in. I couldn't find any available men, so last year I ended up having an affair with an unhappily married man. A few weeks later, his ex-wife kicked him out. I gladly took him in. I deeply regret not getting to know him first. His kids refuse to speak to me, and he doesn't want any more children.

My family dislikes him and warned me about getting involved in the first place. His relationship with his own family is poor, and he has no close friends.

I'm beginning to understand why he was unhappy in his marriage, but it's too late to give him back to his ex. I feel stuck with him because he left his family to be with me. I can't even leave because we're in my house. -- TRAPPED IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR TRAPPED: There are no good excuses for becoming involved with a married man, and believe me, I've heard them all. You have learned the hard way and are paying the price.

As I see it, you're far from "trapped." You both made a choice that you now realize was a blunder, but he's not your responsibility -- so don't compound your mistake. Ask him to leave.

DEAR ABBY: I am going to an evening wedding in a few weeks, and I have a question about proper attire.

My mother always told me not to wear white or black to a wedding, but that was 45 years ago. I have seen both at many weddings in the past 20 years.

After a long search for a dress to wear, I found a stunning black dress with a large, bold, red flower painted across the front and back. It fit and I bought it. Friends have agreed that because of the print, it is OK for this evening wedding, but I keep hearing my mother's voice. What is your opinion? -- VOICE FROM THE PAST

DEAR VOICE: Your mother's fashion advice may have been appropriate 45 years ago, but in the ensuing decades, the rules have relaxed. While I would not advise anyone to wear white to a wedding -- unless specifically instructed to do so -- it is now acceptable to wear black. Enjoy the dress. It sounds lovely.

DEAR ABBY: I am getting married in a couple of months. Unfortunately, I am already having in-law problems. My future sister-in-law wants to invite 14 of her friends to our wedding. Our guest list is already too long for our budget. Even if we could afford it, I certainly don't want the church filled with people we don't know on our wedding day. (Nobody in my family wants to invite their friends.)

What should I do? My future sister-in-law is throwing a fit. -- READY TO ELOPE

DEAR READY: Your fiance must explain to his sister that if she wants to invite 14 people to a party, she should throw one at her place.

Let her have a fit, but draw a "line in the sand" and refuse to give in to her demands. Consider it an opportunity to establish that she will not be permitted to run your life or interfere with your marriage.

Best wishes for a long and happy marriage!

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-sized, 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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