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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I lived with my best friend and her husband for a few months after moving to a new state. They recently went through a rough patch and she took a vacation to cool off. In her absence, and under the influence of a great deal of alcohol, her husband and I slept together. We decided it happened only because we were drunk and decided never to speak of it again.

The problem is -- it happened again, this time with almost no alcohol involved at all!

I'm reluctant to tell my friend about our trysts. I think telling her will do more harm than good. On the other hand, the guilt eats at me every day to the point that I cry over what I've done to her. Her husband doesn't want to tell her, ever. What should I do? -- TO TELL OR NOT TO TELL

DEAR TT OR NOT TT: Own your guilt. You've earned it. And confess your sin to your religious adviser. But if you feel that telling your friend will do more harm than good, remain silent.

DEAR ABBY: My husband of 20 years is kind, loving and well-respected. He is one of the greatest guys you would ever meet. We have a great marriage, rarely fight and have many things in common. My problem? When he speaks, he frequently says "youse guys," and it drives me insane.

I have a brother-in-law who uses "I seen" instead of "I saw," and I know it drives my sister crazy. How do we broach the subject with our hubbies without hurting their feelings, making them feel inadequate or angering them? I am not going to correct my husband in public, but when he says "youse guys" around our friends, I cringe. Help! -- LANGUAGE POLICE IN WISCONSIN

DEAR LANGUAGE POLICE: I'm surprised that after 20 years of marriage you would only now be asking for advice on how to persuade your husband to use proper English. My advice is to tell him you love him and ask if he would like you to help him lose the "youse." If he agrees, start reminding him when he forgets. But if he says no, leave it alone and concentrate on his many virtues. In the scheme of things, isn't his one flaw rather insignificant?

DEAR ABBY: I recently sent an expensive flower arrangement to a dear friend in the hospital to let her know how much she means to me.

When I went to visit, the flowers were not in her room. When I asked about them, she said she had given them to her nurse to display at the nurses' station. I'm assuming the gesture was to show her appreciation for the service they have given her.

I am disappointed and hurt because they were meant to bring her some joy. I understand that when you give someone a present the person has every right to do whatever he or she wants with it, but I wish she would have waited until she was discharged to give the flowers away. Am I wrong to feel hurt? -- DISAPPOINTED IN CLEVELAND

DEAR DISAPPOINTED: The problem with nursing a hurt in silence is that it may be based on an incorrect assumption, so clear the air with your friend. If you ask her why she gave her flowers to the nurses, she may tell you she thought they were so lovely she wanted to share them with everyone who came to the floor. And that would mean your bouquet has brought joy many times over, which is what I would consider getting a big bang for your buck.

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