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by Abigail Van Buren

'Soul Mate' Turns Her Back on Man Facing Cancer Scare

DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 18 years. Two years ago, I met "Rita." She was "the girl of my dreams," and we moved in together. Our relationship was "unstoppable." My wife and I began divorce proceedings.

Three weeks ago, my doctor told me there was a good chance I had cancer. I needed more tests. I panicked and ran back to my wife and children. I wanted them to hear it from me. I told them I "might" get very sick from the disease and the treatment. I ended up going on a one-week vacation with my family. Rita said she understood I needed to be with them.

On the first day of vacation, I realized how much I missed Rita and decided to call her. There was no answer. When I called her the next day at her job, she said, "I have moved on," and hung up. I was shocked because she had always told me we were "soul mates and our love would never die." Now she won't give me the time of day and has threatened to notify the police if I keep calling.

Abby, the irony is -- I don't have cancer. It's four small cysts. At my suggestion, my wife agreed to e-mail Rita to tell her that I am not sick after all, and that she and I are not sleeping together. So far there has been no response from Rita.

Now I don't know what to do. I think Rita broke up with me not knowing all the facts. What do you think? -- HEALTHY AND UNHAPPY IN ONTARIO, CANADA

DEAR HEALTHY AND UNHAPPY: The "girl of your dreams" turned out to be a nightmare, and you have failed to recognize a blessing in disguise. Rita wasn't planning to be with you for the long haul. Instead of "for better or for worse, in sickness and in health," she planned on only "for better and in health." Thank heavens you found out before you invested anymore precious time in her.