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

by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I have a dilemma. Two years ago, my husband had an affair. We weathered the storm; our marriage is intact. However, the aftershocks keep coming when I least expect them.

A couple my husband and I had befriended when we were first married are being married this fall. During my husband's affair, they covered for him and kept his affair a secret from me. In many ways, they made it easier for him to carry on without getting caught. During this time, they would have nothing to do with me. Even after I discovered the affair, neither offered me any support, and I never received an apology.

Now their wedding festivities are under way, and they are starting to warm up to me again. They have asked my husband to be in the wedding. He wants to throw them a big wedding party, and of course, he will want to buy them an expensive gift.

I grit my teeth thinking about having to play the friendly hostess to two people who betrayed me and whom I have not yet forgiven. I have not told my husband how I feel because I am committed to letting go of the past and not holding this affair over his head. He has been an exemplary husband ever since it ended, but I really want no part of this wedding. Please help me. -- HURT AND ANGRY, AUSTIN, TEXAS

DEAR HURT AND ANGRY: Considering that the couple aided and abetted your husband in the affair and offered no explanation or apology for their part in it, your feelings are justified.

Before letting the plans for the party go further, tell your husband exactly how you feel about hosting a party for the couple who had a hand in nearly destroying your marriage. If he's expecting you to play hostess, he needs a wake-up call.

P.S. An affair is like an earthquake; it causes cracks in the foundation of the marriage. If you and your husband haven't already done so, schedule some sessions with a marriage counselor. Until you do, the "aftershocks" will continue, and your union could crumble.

DEAR ABBY: I wholeheartedly agree with your answer about how the ashes of a cremated loved one should be handled. You said if it would be comforting to the surviving relatives, a portion could be given to them.

When our youngest son -- an avid skier -- was killed in an auto accident on his way to ski three years ago, we were stunned. One of his friends asked if he could have some of his ashes to spread at a favorite ski run they had enjoyed together. That led to our decision to divide his ashes and place them in vials. After the memorial service, we invited anyone who wished to take some to spread at a special place they had shared with our son, and to let us know where and why they chose their special place. The responses delighted us.

His ashes are spread from Canada to New Mexico; the stories his friends wrote and shared with us are beautiful. We spread some of the ashes in Ohio where his youth was spent, and we took some to Scotland to scatter on his grandmother's grave.

We think he would be very pleased with how we handled this. -- SAD, BUT AT PEACE IN ARIZONA

DEAR AT PEACE: You handled it beautifully -- and I'm pleased it brought you comfort. I have a hunch that the letters you received from your son's friends will be a more meaningful memorial than an epitaph carved in granite would have been.

Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-size, 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