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by Abigail Van Buren

Husband Struggles to Forgive After His Wife's Second Affair

DEAR ABBY: I have been seeing "Ted" for two years. He is the love of my life. Last week, out of the blue, he said he didn't want to see me anymore and ordered me out of his apartment. He raged at me as if I had done something terrible to him. I left immediately.

The day after Ted's blowup, I talked to him on the phone and his anger was gone. He explained that he needed his space, and I accepted it. The following day we talked again, and I could hear the anger was back in his voice. The day after that, he was as sweet as he's ever been. We tearfully discussed breaking up, but remaining friends.

I would like nothing more than for Ted to enjoy his "space" and discover that I really am the one for him. But I love him, and this is the hardest thing I have dealt with in our two years of ups and downs.

Until three months ago, Ted was a drug user. Now I wonder if he's using again. I am all too familiar with the signs. Because of Ted, I have learned more about drugs than I ever thought possible. But my love for him has endured.

When Ted got clean, we joined a church and I believed we were finally in a better place. Now I don't know what to think. Am I spinning my wheels here, Abby? What should I do? -- SCARED AND CONFUSED IN WEST VIRGINIA

DEAR SCARED AND CONFUSED: I suspect your instincts are on target -- he is using again. However, as much as you might wish to, you cannot "save" Ted. Only he can do that. Please don't tolerate his irrational mood swings. They will destroy your self-esteem. Let him go. Direct your interests and energies elsewhere. Get some counseling. It'll be the smartest, most self-protective move you have ever made -- and a favor to yourself.