DEAR READERS: In my many years of involvement with this column (and before), I have heard some creative name-calling and may have even indulged in a few choice words myself. But your scatological creativity in describing "The Other Woman, Anywhere, USA" (March 11) singed my eyebrows to the roots. Some readers thanked me for my reply. Others felt I was too easy on the letter writer. And others ... well, read on:
DEAR ABBY: My husband "works long hours" and frequently attends evening "meetings" or "stag functions." He is "too tired" to notice my negligee and perfume and "too busy" to meet me for lunch or respond to my loving e-mails. When I'm not at my full-time job, I'm the one washing his leftover dishes and dirty socks, cleaning toilets, fixing torn screens, preparing the drywall our kids damaged, unclogging drains and doing the other minor repairs.
He says there's no money for a night out, yet I find dinner receipts for two in his dirty clothes. (The income I bring in must make SOME difference.) I go to bed alone and starved for sex more nights than I can count. Is this the intact marriage "Other Woman" is trying to preserve? She gets the perks while I'm picking up the dirty towels.
Please, TAKE him! Give me my child support and alimony and YOU support this "wonderful" man. Clean up after him and then see how much "quality time" you enjoy, Sweetie! -- THE WIFE BACK HOME
DEAR ABBY: May I offer a different perspective? I have more respect for a man who sticks with his family and remains in the house providing support and raising his kids, but finds a sexual relationship outside the home. You want to know what I think is really toxic? A man who stays married and celibate, just letting his resentment fester and build. Try walking a mile in someone else's shoes before passing judgment, lady! -- MALE READER IN THE USA
DEAR ABBY: I am a child of an unfaithful marriage. As a pre-teen and teen I often cried and prayed to God for my parents to divorce. Children know when a marriage isn't right. I still mourn for the well-adjusted adult I might have become if I'd had two honest and separate but happy households in which to grow up.
How convenient of "Other Woman" to blame affairs on the wives while overlooking the husband's part in the demise of the marriage. It baffles me that she believes she knows the whole story about her lover's marriage. Please tell her that the only "best friend" her lover has is himself. -- ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE IN OHIO
DEAR ABBY: I was "The Other Man" for 30 years. I was a teenager and still in high school when I met "Sue." She was in her 20s, gorgeous, and I was earning money mowing lawns. I was a virgin. It started with me rubbing suntan lotion on her back. Her husband was in the military.
One day she told me she was lonely because her husband was gone so much and their 5-year-old was in kindergarten. She asked me to be her "special friend." After high school she paid for me to go to trade school. For 29 years I followed her wherever the military sent her husband. I even had a vasectomy so I wouldn't get her pregnant. I lived my life for her.
Her husband has now retired from the military. She has time for me now maybe once a month. What we had is fading more each week. She is my first and only love, and I'll never find anyone to love as I have loved her, or father children of my own. Is my life worth living? -- DEPRESSED OUT WEST
DEAR DEPRESSED: Yes, but it may take counseling to help you realize it. Please don't wait. Your life is worth living. The ability to father a child is not the most important quality many women want in a husband.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)