Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Unfaithful Pilot Steers Woman's Life Off Course

DEAR ABBY: I am a 43-year-old divorcee who recently broke off a two-year relationship with a 50-year-old divorced man. We were dating "steadily" (every night and every weekend), and I thought he was faithful and loved me, as he so frequently declared.

I dropped by unexpectedly a year ago, and I caught a woman hiding in his bedroom closet. Before that, he picked up a girl (a stranger!) at a cafeteria at noon and took her home. I accidentally dropped by that time, too. Then I discovered e-mails he had sent to the closet-girl setting up more meetings. (She would come over before I got off work at 5 each night.) There were also e-mails to other women across the country arranging dates. (He's a pilot.)

Each time I caught him being unfaithful, he'd beg me to forgive his indiscretions. I tried, but I couldn't trust him. His schedule is such that he has lots of free time during the day when I'm at work, so my imagination would run rampant.

He was unfaithful in his marriage, too. I think he has no intention of ever being faithful to one woman, and that tormented me. I loved him more than I've ever loved anyone. Did I do the right thing in ending the relationship? -- CRYING IN MEMPHIS

DEAR CRYING: Absolutely! And you'd also be doing the right thing to schedule an appointment immediately with your doctor to be examined for sexually transmitted diseases.

Your former boyfriend appears to be addicted to sex. Unless he is willing to accept the fact that his behavior is out of control and to get professional help, he cannot be the person you would like him to be.

Now, dry your tears. Get on with your life and be glad that you didn't waste more than two years on this pilot with broken wings and a tarnished halo.

DEAR ABBY: I recently received a promotion at work over someone who had been with the company for a long time. Since then, most of my co-workers have treated me badly. They snub me, gossip, and constantly look for errors in my work they can bring to the supervisor's attention. I thought the supervisor would support me, but she just humors them.

For seven months I have tried to be courteous and nice to them, but they are determined to make my life miserable. One woman in particular is very intimidating. She seems to thrive on generating hostility and bad feelings.

I leave work every day frustrated and with hurt feelings. I don't want to quit, but I am at a loss as to how to handle this. -- JUST DOING MY JOB

DEAR JUST: What you are experiencing may not be pleasant, but it comes with the territory. You can't be in management and be "one of the girls," too. The higher you climb the job ladder, the more of these situations you will encounter and be expected to handle. If you're going to be an effective manager, you must learn to accept it.

There are books and management seminars available. If your immediate supervisor isn't willing to mentor you, perhaps someone else on a supervisory or personnel level would be. Check it out.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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