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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My husband, "George," and I have been married 36 years. During that time I have disagreed with some of the choices he's made, but his latest escapade tops them all.

A year ago, George expressed a desire to rekindle a friendship with a woman he'd had a crush on in high school. (I'll call her Kate.) Kate said she wondered what had happened to some of their old classmates, so George suggested they attend their 40th class reunion together. I didn't care to go, so I agreed it might be fun for them to see the old gang.

Since then, the three of us have enjoyed dinners and movies. They're now planning a seven-day Caribbean cruise together and say they want to share a room to save money. I was invited, but I don't plan to go.

George insists there is no sexual attraction -- but I'm becoming uncomfortable and annoyed with the situation. The chosen few to whom he's confided his vacation plans say I'm crazy for allowing things to escalate this far. I'm beginning to agree.

My husband recently had a heart attack and takes numerous medications. I have stuck by his side all these years while he was in and out of the hospital with various ailments. I don't understand why he now wants to spend so much time with a friend, while neglecting a faithful wife.

As I sit typing this letter, George has gone for yet another one of their "friendship visits."

Abby, what's wrong with this picture? We're the talk of the neighborhood. Any suggestions? -- DESERTED WIFE IN MISSOURI

DEAR DESERTED: Yes! Spouses should be playmates as well as helpmates. If you haven't already realized it, you're playing with dynamite. Reorganize your priorities immediately, and stop enabling your husband to spend so much time alone with his old high school crush.

Kate reminds your husband of the time when he was young and healthy. After his heart attack, he is living life to the fullest -- however, he should be living it with you. Since your husband has told you you are welcome to be with them, make it your business to go on the cruise. You, not Kate, should be the one sharing his stateroom.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 12-year-old girl. Lately I've been thinking about famous people and the impact they have on the lives of children and teenagers. If some rock star gets caught smoking marijuana or an athlete takes steroids, I know kids my age who would go straight out and try it.

These singers, athletes, actors and musicians don't realize how powerful their influence is. You can't rationalize behavior by saying, "Oh, they should have known better." Hello? I don't think so.

To all of the famous people out here, whether you realize it or not, you are role models for us kids and young adults all across the nation. So PLEASE, before you do something dangerous, stupid or illegal -- think about the impact it will have on your fans. -- A MINOR WHO KNOWS, HAWTHORNE, N.J.

DEAR MINOR: For one so young, you have a good head on your shoulders. I agree that when someone enters public life, setting a good example is a small price to pay for fame and fortune.

CONFIDENTIAL TO MY READERS: An important reminder: Have you remembered to change the batteries on your smoke alarms and that daylight-saving time is over, so clocks should be set back one hour? I hope so!

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)

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