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by Abigail Van Buren

Wife Has No Cause to Rejoice for This Good Christian Man

DEAR ABBY: My first husband died of cancer in 1997. In 1999, I met a man on the Internet -- I'll call him Roland. Roland and I have been married for 23 months. He is a division chaplain (colonel) in the Army Reserves, a part-time pastor in a small church and also a marriage therapist.

Roland has suddenly decided he doesn't want to be married anymore. Last summer he bought a red Corvette, and recently he purchased a bottle of Grecian Formula. A couple of weeks ago, I discovered e-mails he had written to other women saying he wants a "special lady" in his life. (Abby, that's what I thought I was!)

Please warn women about being on the Internet, even the Christian sites. At 55, I'm facing being single again, and it's no fun. Roland is sweet, charming, and even says grace in restaurants before a meal. I'm not the kind of woman who "has" to have a man, thank goodness, but I just thought I had met the right one. Where did I go wrong? -- DISILLUSIONED IN CLARKSVILLE, TENN.

DEAR DISILLUSIONED: You naively believed that a man you met on a Christian Web site was automatically a "good" Christian. I don't know what problems he brought to the relationship, but it appears he started having one heck of a midlife crisis last summer. Either that, or you married a wolf in pastor's clothing.

Although you're not the kind of woman who "has" to have a man, please don't lose faith in all men. There are some terrific men out there, but none of them comes with a money-back guarantee.