DEAR ABBY: Two years ago, my husband of 25 years, "Glen," discovered that I'd had an affair 10 years earlier. After he found out, he couldn't sleep or eat, had recurring nightmares about the affair and was suicidal. He says it is still the first thing that pops into his mind when he wakes up and the last thing he thinks about when he goes to sleep. Neither of us thinks he will ever be able to get over it.
Glen doesn't want to be married to someone who would lie and cheat, and I don't want to be married to someone who can't love me. Actually, I don't think I love him, either. We have discussed divorce many times but it always comes down to our kids.
They are all on their own, but they would be devastated if we divorced -- especially if they knew what caused it. We don't want them to go through the pain that Glen has gone through. We love them and cherish the times we still have together as a family. If we were to divorce, it would never be the same.
Are we crazy to stay together for the kids? -- GOING THROUGH THE MOTIONS IN ILLINOIS
DEAR GOING: I am not the person who should answer that question. Only you and Glen can do that. I can, however, advise you that you and your husband are two years overdue for couples therapy.
Infidelity is painful, but it is possible to recover from it, heal a marriage and emerge stronger than ever as a couple. However, if it is not possible to do that, then divorce is a preferable alternative to the marriage you have described.
DEAR ABBY: I have a simple answer for "Frustrated in Pennsylvania" (Nov. 30), whose wife forgets to enter her check amounts into her check register. I had the same problem when I was first married.
My smart wife went to the bank and asked for advice. The checks I've used ever since make a carbon copy. The date, to whom the check is written and the amount are all automatically recorded on the copy. The checks come in a wide selection of designs -- and the peace of mind is really nice. -- BOB B., LE CENTER, MINN.
DEAR BOB: Many readers wrote, as you did, that duplicate checks are the solution to this common problem, which, by the way, affects both men and women. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: Here's what I did with my husband. We got duplicate checks. Having a copy of the check simplifies balancing the checkbook.
After first complaining he was being treated like a child about money, he got hit with multiple overdraft fees, and we were unable to attend an event he was dying to go to because we didn't have the money. He is much better now, but it took a lot of convincing to get him to use them. -- LORRAINE H., SIERRA VISTA, ARIZ.
DEAR ABBY: My wife and I could never resolve our conflicts over finances. We have more arguments about money than any other subject. We finally resolved it by getting three separate accounts: hers, mine and "household," to which we both contribute equally. -- GERALD IN LA QUINTA, CALIF.
DEAR ABBY: I have been looking online to buy a used car, but I don't know how early or late to call the owners. Can you please enlighten me on the appropriate hours of the day -- or night? Thanks! -- FAITH IN HANNIBAL, MO.
DEAR FAITH: The rule of thumb that I was taught is that calls between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. are appropriate. To call before or after that could be intrusive because the person may retire early or sleep a little later.
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