DEAR ABBY: I'm having a hard time dealing with an upcoming event. My husband, "Rob," and our nephews are planning a night out visiting the local all-nude strip clubs. I walked into the room just as one nephew was inviting him. Abby, he jumped at the chance! When I asked what they were talking about, Rob said, "Nothing," and changed the subject.
I don't want him to go. This isn't a new occurrence in our more-than-30-year marriage. After we were married seven years, Rob came home from work and told me he wanted to be with other women. The men he worked with all had girlfriends on the side and were always talking about how great it was, and my husband thought he was missing something. Since Rob's sister and young son were living with us at the time, I moved out. Every day he called me at work to see how I was, and on the third day he called, crying, and begged me to come home. He had decided I was what he really wanted.
Twelve years later, Rob had a stress breakdown. While he was in the hospital he confessed that he'd had a three-year affair with a woman he worked with and had paid for her to have an abortion. He said it was over and promised there would be no more women. It was his idea, not mine. I never mentioned the subject again. Now this.
Abby, I'm having a lot of trouble dealing with this. The "boys' night out" is in three weeks. I have decided to tell Rob that I wish he wouldn't go -- not can't go -- and leave the decision up to him. Am I just a jealous wife, or insecure, or unreasonable? -- WOUNDED IN NEW YORK
DEAR WOUNDED: I'd say you're insecure with good reason. Your husband's history of fidelity and stability is poor, and it didn't help matters that when you asked what the men were talking about, he was evasive. You do not appear to be jealous. It would not be unreasonable to air your feelings about his behavior, past and present, when you tell him you wish he wouldn't go. Considering his past, the request is understandable.
DEAR ABBY: While my mother lay on her deathbed, my stepfather of 17 years had her sign a new will, leaving everything to him. She was heavily sedated at the time, but he explained that it would be easier for him to disburse the money that she wanted us kids to have if he were in charge.
He remarried one year after Mother died and dropped us like hot potatoes. It has been a while since I contacted him, but my family had financial difficulties, so I called to ask about the money. His reply, "Tough luck."
He had promised my mother, my siblings and me that he would take care of us. We're not talking about a few bucks, Abby, we're talking about a half-million dollars!
I pray he reads this and thinks hard about what he did. Please help. I have no other recourse. -- HURT DAUGHTER IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR DAUGHTER: Have you spoken to a lawyer about this? I did. Here's what my legal expert had to say:
"As a matter of law, yes, there could be some recourse. However, we don't know how much time has elapsed since the mother died and the stepfather remarried. If the new will was done on the reliance of the promise he made, there MAY be something that could be done when he dies."
So, my advice to you and your siblings is to consult an attorney who specializes in planning estates.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600