DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 14 years. We have two wonderful boys. Last weekend, my husband questioned me about a missing condom. He asked if I knew where it was. At first, I laughed it off, because I had no idea where it might be. He questioned me about it for three days.
Yesterday, I discovered the missing condom. It had been thrown into another drawer. When I told my husband, he actually checked the lot number to see if it matched the others in the package. He said it was "very suspicious," and did not apologize for accusing me of taking it.
Abby, our married life has not been the happiest. He has falsely accused me of things in the past. I've mentioned marriage counseling many times, but he refuses to go. How should I handle this? -- TIRED OF THE THIRD DEGREE
DEAR TIRED: The lack of trust in your marriage needs to be addressed. Since your husband refuses to go to counseling, go by yourself. You need a safe, supportive place to vent your understandable frustration and anger.
P.S. You didn't mention how old your sons are, but I suspect one or both of them became curious and went into your drawers. In their haste to return the condom, it was put into the wrong drawer. If you haven't done so already, your sons are old enough to hear some straight talk about human sexuality, the reproductive system and their parents' right to privacy.
DEAR ABBY: Recently you've printed several letters from readers complaining about their neighborhood "pests." I live in an idyllic home at the end of a private road. Vegetation obscures my immediate neighbors.
My neighborhood "pest" is my next-door neighbor. For years she complained that I was cutting weeds and vines from the ditch that separates our properties. (I cut the weeds because I want the hedge I planted to grow.)
One day while she was complaining, I said, "You know, it makes me very uncomfortable knowing that you watch me when I'm all sweaty and working with my shirt off." Then I winked at her. It was the last complaint I've had from her in five years. -- GARDENER IN WEST PALM BEACH, FLA.
DEAR GARDENER: You probably scared the "pest" with your flirtatious accusation. I hope your hedge has finally grown tall enough that she no longer gets an "eyeful," if she's so inclined.
DEAR ABBY: My fiance and I are planning a simple, intimate wedding, and because I am Jewish and he is not, we're having a nondenominational ceremony. At the end of the ceremony, I would like to have the traditional "stomping of the glass." However, my mother says that we cannot do it because we're not having the traditional Jewish ceremony.
What is the proper etiquette? -- STACY IN ST. PETERSBURG, FLA.
DEAR STACY: There is no rule that says you cannot include the breaking of the wine glass in your wedding ceremony if you wish. Civil ceremonies can (and do) vary greatly, and some customs can be modified according to your own preference.
Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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