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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My husband of eight years went to work a couple of weeks ago and never came home. He put a card under a friend's door saying he wasn't coming back.

When I sorted through the belongings he had left behind, I found a "good luck" card from my mother to him and more than $1,000 worth of money order receipts. We had planned to move to Reno in April when we had enough money saved. However, according to some of the letters I found, my husband never intended to take me with him to Reno -- and my mother knew it.

I am extremely hurt and feel betrayed by this turn of events. Abby, should I confront my mother about this? -- BETRAYED IN SAN FRANCISCO

DEAR BETRAYED: Your feelings are valid -- you were betrayed by the two people you trusted the most. By all means confront your mother. You deserve some answers. Sadly, you married a cowardly scoundrel, and your mother appears to have aided and abetted him.

DEAR ABBY: I am a 20-something single woman whose best friend happens to be male. I'll call him David. David just became engaged and wants me to be part of the wedding party, so he asked his fiancee, "Tiffany," to include me as one of her bridesmaids. Tiffany has a close male friend whom she wants to be one of David's groomsmen.

I would prefer to stand next to David to show my support for his marriage. Perhaps Tiffany's male friend and I should switch places and stand beside our respective friends. If we do this, would I wear a dress like the bridesmaids, or would I wear a tuxedo like the groomsmen?

Please check with your wedding experts and clue me in, Abby. -- THE GROOM'S BEST BUD IN SAN ANTONIO

DEAR BEST BUD: Although a woman can serve as "best man," it's important to remember that David did not ask you to be his best man or a groomsman. He and his fiancee asked you to be a bridesmaid.

You would be wise to defer to the wishes of the bride and groom regarding your attire and where you will stand during the ceremony.

DEAR ABBY: My daughter is 14 and the kind of young lady every mother dreams of having. She is respectful, considerate, loving, behaves well, and is a good student.

My dilemma is whether or not I should pay her to do chores even if she doesn't do a good job. She has never been motivated by money, but asks for things all the time.

I've told her that if she would do a better job with her chores, I'd reward her with spending money. She's such a good kid, I feel as though she deserves to be rewarded, but I also want her to learn that she must do a good job if she wants to be paid. That's the way it will be when she's out in the world, so I'd like her to learn that lesson now. Any pointers would be appreciated, Abby. -- KIM FROM THE WINDY CITY

DEAR KIM: Stick to your guns. Children should learn the value of completing tasks properly. The old saying, "A job worth doing is worth doing well," holds true. It's a lesson that will benefit her for the rest of her life.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)

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