DEAR ABBY: I am so confused. I can't decide with whom I should spend the rest of my life. My ex-fiance, "Ramon," is in jail. Ramon was a drug addict and is responsible for my bankruptcy. He swears he will be a changed man when he is released. There's also my ex-husband, "Fred." We were married for 10 years. He's the father of my two daughters. Fred swears on a stack of Bibles that he, too, has changed. Both of them want me back.
Ramon is still very demanding, jealous and accuses me of cheating. Believe me, I've had plenty of opportunities, but I haven't acted on any of them.
Fred has remarried, but says he will dump his wife to marry me. Fred hit me a couple of times while we were together -- but truth be told, he is more of a mouse than a man.
What should I do? I can't go to my family. They hate Ramon and Fred, but I love them both. -- WILLING TO TRUST AGAIN IN TULSA
DEAR WILLING: You have batted zero in the ballgame of love -- because you've been playing in the minor leagues. Ramon and Fred are your exes for good reasons. If I were you, I'd explore a third option. However, before doing so, I'd take a break from men for a while.
DEAR ABBY: For the past 15 years I have been best friends with a man I'll call James. We're both in our mid-20s. I always thought James and I told each other everything. Over the years we've shared some good and not-so-good times. He's been like a brother to me.
Recently, a mutual friend, "Kate," told me that James is gay. I am struggling with this news, because if it's true, I never had a clue. To complicate matters, for the past year I've been falling in love with him.
I need to confront James about his sexual orientation, and I also feel an urgency to tell him how I feel about him. But I don't know how to begin this "truth session." Please help me, Abby. -- NEEDS TO KNOW IN KNOXVILLE
DEAR NEEDS TO KNOW: Stay calm. Invite James over for coffee and a chat. There is no reason to beat around the bush. Tell him you would like to share some interesting gossip you heard from Kate. Then tell him what she said. Because she said it, doesn't make it true. His reaction will tell you what you need to know.
P.S. If it is true, James is still the same wonderful friend you've always had. Remember that.
DEAR ABBY: I have an old acquaintance, "Ralph," whom I hadn't seen for some time. He recently dropped by my home, and told me with great pride about his new business Web site. He said I should look it over. After he left, I did. Abby, it is awful! It is filled with misspelled words, boring graphics and redundant text. It's impossible to know exactly what his business is or what services he has to offer.
Ralph has not expressly asked for my opinion. If he does, should I be honest? -- A FRIEND WITH A FRIEND IN NEED
DEAR FRIEND: If he asks you, begin by pointing out the spelling errors. If he's open to that constructive criticism, and you have the time, point out that the graphics and text could use a little "tweaking" -- and give specific examples. If the situation were reversed, wouldn't YOU want to know?
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