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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman Regrets Throwing Away Her Chance for Lifelong Love

DEAR ABBY: I married young. We had four children who are now grown. I went through a mid-life crisis in my 30s and ran around doing whatever I wanted with whomever I wanted. My husband, "Louie," begged me to stop, but I didn't. So Louie divorced me and married a woman I'll call Melody.

It's been eight years since the divorce. Louie has told my mother and our children that he still loves me and will till the day he dies. I feel the same way about Louie, but I will not go back with him.

Why? Because when my car broke down, it was Melody who picked me up. When I was sick, Melody brought me my meals. She is a sweet, caring woman who wouldn't hurt a fly, and I cannot cause her pain she doesn't deserve.

The moral: If you have someone who loves you, do not throw it away. Love is a rare and precious thing that doesn't come along all that often. -- SADDER BUT WISER

DEAR SADDER: That's true. However, you'll be a lot happier if you stop looking backward. You have matured emotionally since your 30s. You have also learned important lessons about life. Stop dwelling on the past and focus your energies on looking ahead. If you do, it is possible that you'll meet someone and be able to rebuild your life.