DEAR ABBY: I have been married for seven years. I was looking for a document on my computer recently and found some pornography my husband had downloaded. What was most shocking was that he had done some computer artwork on some of it, and superimposed my 15-year-old niece's face onto the girl in the picture.
I then went through my husband's things and found a tape from our camcorder. He had hidden it in our bedroom and tried to videotape me after I had gotten out of the shower. I was not surprised. I had caught him trying to tape us having sex without my knowing last year.
I no longer feel comfortable with him physically, and I don't care if we get divorced. I don't know if I can ever trust him again. Is my husband a pervert with a serious problem?
We have a son who is almost 4. Is divorce easier when the children are smaller, since they won't remember as much? Please help me. I just don't know what to do. -- GROSSED OUT IN GREAT FALLS
DEAR GROSSED OUT: Your husband has serious problems. By substituting your niece's face for that of the girl in the picture, he has shown that he has an incestuous interest in a minor. And by attempting to videotape you during intimate moments without your consent, he has shown that he has no respect for your feelings. If he refuses to get professional help, show the picture to the parents of your niece.
Divorce is never easy on children, but your son will accept it more easily if you do it now rather than when he is older and expects you to explain the reason in logical terms.
DEAR ABBY: I have six good friends who live together. When they answer the phone, I never know who I'm talking to. I always say, "This is Vanessa," but they never reply by volunteering their names.
Is it reasonable to expect them to identify themselves? I have considered asking them to, but never have. I'm not sure if it would be presumptuous or not. -- CONFUSED IN COLUMBIA, MO.
DEAR CONFUSED: When you identify yourself, I would think that the response would be, "Oh, hi, Vanessa! It's 'Julie.' How are you?" However, since that's not the response you're getting, it's certainly not presumptuous to ask, "... and who is this?" Or, "With whom am I having the pleasure?" That's what I'd do.
DEAR ABBY: My father lives in another state and drove here to see our new baby girl. He saw her while she was in the nursery at the hospital.
When I returned home from the hospital, my father wanted to come over immediately. I was very tired, and when I suggested that his wife and her son not come along, he refused to come. Abby, their boy screams and is out of control most of the time, and I didn't want him disrupting my two other children.
Was I wrong to ask that it just be my dad? It has been eight months since he has been down here, and I don't know what to do. Should I apologize? -- FRAZZLED MOTHER IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR FRAZZLED: It couldn't hurt to offer an apology. Your father considers his wife and stepson to be part of your family, too, and probably didn't recognize how disruptive this child can be.
In the interests of family harmony, and before this festers any further, pick up the phone and call.
CONFIDENTIAL TO "WANTS TO GET EVEN" IN ROANOKE: Violence is not the answer, nor any kind of retaliation. To quote Nelson Mandela: "Education is the most powerful weapon. You can use it to change the world."
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