DEAR ABBY: Two years ago, I caught my fiance cheating on me. I was devastated. In my heart I don't think he would do it again, but still I find myself looking through his e-mails, checking phone records, etc. I find myself crying hysterically and replaying the moment I found out he was cheating over and over again in my head. It's driving me insane. I want to forgive him, but I don't think I can.
Can you please help me find a way to let go of the past and return to the confident me? -- LIVING IN THE PAST IN PHOENIX
DEAR LIVING IN THE PAST: I wish you had written me sooner. You and your fiance may need couples therapy. His willingness to participate would prove that he's willing to do everything he can to reassure you that he won't cheat again. It may also help you both understand why it happened, and help you to erase the old tapes playing in your head.
However, if this doesn't work, accept that you should break the engagement -- because a marriage without trust is missing the very foundation of the relationship.
DEAR ABBY: I'm 16 and know in my heart that I'm gay, even though I'd give anything not to be. So far, I have kept this to myself, but I don't think I can keep it within forever.
Please tell me how you "come out." I am worried sick about what will happen, since my parents belong to a church that believes homosexuality is a terrible sin.
Will my parents still love me? Will my friends reject me? Will my sister, who I've always been close to, be afraid to keep sharing a room with me?
As hard as I have tried, I can't change the feelings I have inside, so I know I have to deal with this, but I don't know what to do. Please help me. -- TORMENTED GIRL IN LOUISIANA
DEAR TORMENTED GIRL: I can only imagine the stress and anxiety you are experiencing. My heart goes out to you.
As you clearly point out in your letter, sexual orientation is not a choice, but something a person is born with. Not knowing your parents or your inner circle of friends, I can't predict how they will react if you tell them you are gay. But if your instincts tell you that your family will react badly, then I advise you to wait to come out until you are out of their house and self-supporting.
In the meantime, allow me to share two helpful resources. The first is PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). This organization has been around since the early 1980s, and from it you will receive specific advice on how to deal with your parents. Its Web site is www.pflag.org, and I highly recommend it.
The second is the Trevor Helpline, a nationwide, 24-hour crisis helpline for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people. Its toll-free number is (866) 488-7386. You can find out more by going to www.thetrevorproject.org.
DEAR ABBY: Six years ago my 16-year-old daughter was killed by a drunk driver. Just the other day I found some thank-you cards I thought I had sent. I also know that at the end I just couldn't write any more thank yous because of my grief. Should I mail the cards after all this time? -- STILL WONDERING IN SAN DIEGO
DEAR STILL WONDERING: Yes, you should. But when you do, include a short note explaining exactly what you have said to me. People who love and care about you will understand.
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