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DEAR ABBY: My divorce became final two months ago and several people have congratulated me. Abby, the last thing I ever wanted was to be another divorce statistic, but my ex-husband committed a heinous crime for which he will pay for the rest of his life. While I know I'm better off without him, what I would have preferred was for the circumstances not to have happened in the first place!

I am trying to get my life back on track, but it isn't easy. And it doesn't help when some insensitive person offers "congratulations." They don't seem to understand that the subject is painful. I have said, "Please don't say that," but what else can I say? Please advise your readers to offer condolences instead. -- UNHAPPILY DIVORCED ON THE EAST COAST

DEAR DIVORCED: I'm passing your message along. However, when someone makes an inappropriate comment, instead of saying, "Please don't say that," try this: "Please don't bring that subject up again. All it does is make me sad."

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