DEAR ABBY: My fifth wedding anniversary is coming soon. I was looking forward to it until last night. I took my children to visit their daddy at his office. He is usually happy to see us. We found him eating his dinner in the company's break room.
We were enjoying a pleasant conversation when suddenly a female co-worker burst in and began telling a story. This woman, "Carmen," is very voluptuous and extroverted. My husband started laughing like crazy at Carmen's funny story –- which I didn't find amusing at all. But it didn't bother me until my husband came home from work and we started getting ready for bed. He began repeating this "funny" story he heard at work. When I told him I was there when Carmen told it, he looked surprised and said, "You were?"
Abby, I was crushed! I had been in that break room for 15 minutes before Carmen came in, and my husband had forgotten all about our visit. I am trying not to let it bother me, but I am 7 1/2 months pregnant and beginning to believe my husband no longer cares for me. What should I do? -- FEELING BIG AND BROKENHEARTED
DEAR FEELING BIG AND BROKENHEARTED: First of all, remember that pregnancy is only temporary, and that many people think there is nothing more beautiful than a pregnant woman. However, somehow you are feeling threatened. Carmen may be bombastic, but if your husband wanted to share her funny story with you, you should not be threatened by one instance of short-term memory loss.
DEAR ABBY: I am 15 and in tears as I write this. My parents met in college and married when Mom got pregnant with my older brother. They recently celebrated their 17th anniversary. Lately, it seems all Mom and Dad do is argue. My father's job requires him to work long hours and travel a lot, so things have been especially stressful.
Last weekend, my brother and I went to visit our aunt and uncle who live a couple of hours away. While I was sitting at their computer e-mailing some friends, I couldn't resist the temptation, so I pulled up an e-mail Mother had sent to my aunt. In it, Mom wrote that she "can't take it any longer" and finally talked to a divorce lawyer. She plans to file for divorce as soon as my brother graduates from high school. She doesn't want us kids to know because my brother needs to keep his grades up so he can get into a good college, and she knows the news would upset us.
But that wasn't the worst part. Mom went on to say she had confessed to our priest that she's been having an affair with a co-worker! Mom reads your column every day, so please give us some good advice. If she reads this letter and your reply, maybe it would help her reconsider what she's doing. -- HOPING TO SAVE MY PARENTS' MARRIAGE IN GEORGIA
DEAR HOPING'S MOTHER: If this scenario seems strangely familiar to you, please know that your plans are no longer a secret and are causing great stress to your daughter.
Before you make any life-altering decisions, end the affair and start marriage counseling with your husband. It wouldn't hurt to begin family counseling as well.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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