DEAR ABBY: My wife of 25 years has been talking on the phone with a married man who lives in a city 300 miles away. They chat for more than an hour a week. Our cell phone bills indicate that this has been going on for more than a year.
I have decided there is nothing to gain by confronting her with this information, but every few months I wonder. She has never talked to me about him. There is no way she has been able to see this man during this time, but I wonder why she hasn't mentioned that she has a "phone pal."
At least she got him to stop calling the house and hanging up when I answered. (She noticed I looked at the caller ID.) Any suggestions? -- SUSPICIOUS IN COLUMBUS
DEAR SUSPICIOUS: I sure do. With cell phone statement in hand, ask your wife who she has been talking to for the past year and why she never mentioned it to you. Something IS obviously going on, and you have a right to know the truth. If you aren't satisfied with her answers, call the phone number yourself. The longer you ignore the problem, the deeper in trouble your marriage will be.
DEAR ABBY: For the past week I have been remodeling my home. Workers have asked to use my bathroom, which is a problem for me as I feel it is an invasion of a personal, private space. I feel they should have a porta-potty in their vans or find a public toilet nearby.
Am I wrong? I hate saying "no," but I feel my privacy is stolen. -- PRIVACY, PLEASE, IN MONTANA
DEAR P.P.: Call your contractor and ask that a portable toilet be provided to the workers on your job. However, if that's not possible, rather than telling the people remodeling your house to find a public toilet, I'm advising you to relent. Happy workers do better work, regardless of what field they're in. And when work is being done in my home, I not only allow workers to use the "facilities," I also offer them a cold drink on a hot day. (Hint, hint.)
DEAR ABBY: I just got back from one of the best vacations I have had in my life. It was relaxing, and I had a blast. Do you think it's weird that I went on that vacation alone with my father-in-law?
His son, "Blake," and I have been married for 14 years, and I have been around the family for more than 20. I met Blake when we were both in high school.
Before the trip, Dad and I got negative comments when the upcoming vacation was mentioned. Was it "inappropriate"? Or are the people saying so jealous they don't share a close relationship with their in-laws?
Blake and my mother-in-law were fine with the idea. Dad had fun telling people we met on the trip that I was his "secretary." We laughed about it -- but when we told them I was his daughter-in-law, they looked perplexed.
I love my in-laws as if they were my own parents. What's your take on our vacation? I am 37. -- "BLONDIE" IN JACKSONVILLE, FLA.
DEAR BLONDIE: Your letter is a first. I would have to say the situation is unusual. However, because the trip was taken with your husband's and your mother-in-law's blessing, and nothing untoward occurred -- then "evil be he (or she) who thinks evil of it."
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-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600