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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: Six months ago, I met a man through a mutual friend. We've been inseparable since our first lunch date. A month later he said he had a "confession." I thought, "Wow, so do I ...!"

He told me he was still married. I thought, "What a relief, so am I!"

I recently finalized my divorce, but to this day, he is still married. He says he is having all kinds of problems with his wife. It has reached the point where I can't take it any longer. I've gotten involved in his mess, and it's driving me away from the man I love with all my heart.

I know I should have waited until his divorce was final, but he assured me that it would be over "soon." Well, that was four months ago. What should I do? -- DISENCHANTED IN DALLAS

DEAR DISENCHANTED: It's time to disengage. Four months could easily turn into four years -- or even decades. This relationship was conceived in dishonesty. As much as you may think you love him, he is not a free (or honorable) man. Run as if your life depended on it.

DEAR ABBY: Our daughter is being married soon. She and her fiance are vegetarians, and they are insisting on having a strictly vegetarian buffet at their reception.

Her father and I feel that it's improper to literally force their dietary beliefs down the throats of the wedding guests. Since we are splitting the cost of the wedding with them, we feel we should have a say in the selection of the food.

This situation has caused some bad feelings on both sides and has put a damper on an otherwise happy occasion.

What do you suggest we do? -- GOING MEATLESS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

DEAR GOING MEATLESS: I suggest you put aside your preconceptions and take your lead from your daughter and future son-in-law. A vegetarian buffet can be filled with rich and satisfying food. Your guests won't feel deprived.

P.S. My congratulations to you all.

DEAR ABBY: In "Doyleston, Pa.'s" letter about depression, she said, "I'm constantly alert so that I keep my depressive tendencies under control." This is so true! Those of us who have been there and were able to regain control of our lives know what this means.

The group that helped me to find the tools I needed to accomplish this goal is called Recovery Inc. It is one of the best-kept secrets for mental health insurance. We are always trying to get the word out to health-care professionals and to potential members who would benefit from attending our group meetings.

Please pass the word along and feel free to use my name. Recovery meetings are held throughout the United States and many other countries. -- GENEVA KOEBEL, WOODLAND, CALIF.

DEAR GENEVA: I have mentioned Recovery Inc. before, and I'm pleased to do it again. Recovery is not a substitute for professional care, but is an adjunct to it. This effective self-help group has been selected as the winner of the 2000 Arnold L. van Amerigen Award in Psychiatric Rehabilitation from the American Psychiatric Association in recognition of contributions to the field of psychiatric rehabilitation.

Those interested in learning more about this organization should write: Recovery Inc., 802 N. Dearborn St., Chicago, IL 60610 (be sure to include a self-addressed, stamped envelope), or call (312) 337-5661. No fee is required.

To order "How to Write Letters for All Occasions," send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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