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by Abigail Van Buren

Holiday Greetings to Troops Ease Their Burden of Duty

CONFIDENTIAL TO MY READERS: Although I know you're busy beyond belief preparing for the holidays, please take a minute to go to your computers and send greetings to our troops. This is the loneliest time of the year for these brave young men and women, many of whom are away from their families for the first time. Type in www.OperationDearAbby.net and let them know we care.

DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 10 years. I have always had fantasies about exposing my wife naked to other men. "Hazel" is a deep sleeper, and in college, I exposed her countless times for my roommates to see. (I pretended to be asleep.) From the time we were married, I took pictures of her while she slept, including many extremely graphic close-ups. I posted a good number of them (including the close-ups) on Internet porn sites, making no attempt to blur her face, which would have ruined it for me. The thought of countless men seeing her excited me. I looked forward to reading the comments about her pictures. I saved each porn site photo spread of her into a file on my computer and viewed them often.

Well, my wife found the file. We are now in marriage counseling, but I still have the fantasies. I know what I did was wrong, but I did it anyway. I don't want to lose my wife. Please help. -- ASHAMED IN VIRGINIA

DEAR ASHAMED: You need more help than I can give you in a letter. You violated your wife's trust, treated her like an object, and while I applaud the fact that you are getting marriage counseling, counseling of a different sort is also in order. Please ask your doctor for a referral to a psychiatrist ASAP, and pray your wife can forgive you.

DEAR ABBY: My co-worker has planned his own retirement dinner party at $45 a head, including tax and gratuity. That might not be much to managers and supervisors who receive large salaries, but for those of us who don't, that's a lot of money. What's ironic is he has let us know he expects an additional $10 from each of us for a gift.

A luncheon date with 90 percent of the staff had already been confirmed. However, yesterday a flier was distributed announcing a dinner on the same date the luncheon was scheduled. Our lunch date was canceled without consulting us. I suspect it was a maneuver to force us to attend the dinner party.

We asked him to reschedule the lunch, told him the dinner party was too expensive, and asked if he would make the $10 gift optional. Are we unreasonable, or is he? -- WONDERING IN SAN FRANCISCO

DEAR WONDERING: Wonder no more. He is. Please don't allow yourselves to be manipulated into spending more than you can afford on this anything BUT shy and retiring co-worker.

DEAR ABBY: How do I tell my boss that her incessant talking keeps me from getting my job done? I am currently a week behind because I was out sick for several days last week, and my boss won't stop talking and let me catch up.

She isn't married and doesn't have many friends, so I know her need for friendship carries over to work -- but it's starting to make me very stressed. Then again, she's my boss. How do I deal with this? -- FALLING BEHIND IN ALABAMA

DEAR FALLING BEHIND: Your boss may not be aware the extent to which you have fallen behind in your work, so tell her -- especially if you are doing something that might be time-sensitive. Explain that you are conscientious and don't want to let her down -- and if she wants to talk, suggest you do it over lunch. Then cross your fingers and hope she takes you up on it.

Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600