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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Dennis," has been having an affair for many years. He filed for divorce and moved out of the house for several months. I made the divorce negotiations so difficult, he gave up and moved back home.

I know Dennis continues to see his girlfriend every day. I put up with it because I still love him after 40 years of marriage.

Do you think I am a fool to continue in this relationship when I know he no longer loves me? -- UNHAPPY IN OKLAHOMA

DEAR UNHAPPY: Only you can answer that. If you're staying in the marriage for financial security -- and financial security is the most important thing to you -- I'd say you are being pragmatic. On the other hand, if you're hoping he'll give up his longtime girlfriend one day and love you again, it could be a long wait.

When a person is single, there is always the possibility of meeting a loving, faithful and eligible person. Being trapped in a loveless marriage must be like living in solitary confinement. You have my sympathy.

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I plan to marry in a year or so. Because my mother is very controlling, we intend to move far away from her. She tries to control my every move. If I don't get her permission to take a shower, she goes crazy and yells at me for hours. I've always been respectful and followed every rule in her house. There's no reason for her to act this way.

Mother is angry at my 28-year-old sister because she moved 30 minutes away before she got married. Mom still drops in on her unexpectedly and calls every day to yell at her.

Abby, I don't want the same thing to happen to me. What should I do when she asks for my phone number? I don't want to give it to her. -- ADULT DAUGHTER IN THE SOUTHWEST

DEAR ADULT DAUGHTER: Your mother clearly has emotional problems and should be evaluated by a doctor. Although it may seem tempting to run away and leave your unhappy past behind, an alternative might be to add a call-screening feature to your phone. Your conscience will be clearer if you do.

DEAR ABBY: Our 14-year-old daughter is fortunate to have her dad and me as parents because we have a good, solid marriage.

Here's the dilemma: Our daughter has a close friend, "Jen," whose mother is single. She's a nice lady, but has had at least two live-in boyfriends within the last year that we know of.

Our daughter has been invited countless times to sleep over at Jen's house, but I feel it isn't the kind of atmosphere I want our teen-ager exposed to. As long as Jen's mom is living with a guy, I have a real problem with this.

I can't come up with a delicate way to explain my feelings without offending Jen's mom. My daughter is upset over this whole situation, but I've made it clear that her well-being is my No. 1 priority.

Am I being overly sensitive? Any input would be appreciated. -- FRUSTRATED MOM

DEAR MOM: I don't think so. If you prefer that your daughter not spend the night in a home with an unmarried couple, solve your problem by saying exactly that to all concerned. You're entitled to your moral convictions and you owe no one an apology for standing firm in defense of them.

CONFIDENTIAL TO ROSE PHILLIPS IN MINNEAPOLIS: Happy 103rd birthday to my beloved grandmother. You are an incomparable role model to all of us. -- LOVE, JEANNE

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 $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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