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by Abigail Van Buren

Friends Think Clumsy Woman's Bruises Are Evidence of Abuse

DEAR ABBY: I have a horrible secret. I have cheated on my husband with multiple strangers. I have tried to tell him I have an addiction, but he blows me off. When I first met him, I had been with two people. Since our wedding, I have lost count.

I think about sex constantly and often arrange to meet men anonymously many times during the week. I have tried to stop, but I just can't seem to. Believe me, I have tried.

I have attempted to talk to my husband about this so he will listen -- but I'm afraid to estimate how many times I have cheated because I fear he will leave me. Please help me. -- CAN'T STOP DOWN SOUTH

DEAR CAN'T STOP: At this point the only thing worse than telling your husband what's been going on would be not to. People who engage in anonymous sex can carry all kinds of STDs, and you have exposed not only yourself but him to them. You both should see a doctor and be tested immediately -- and if you love him, you will give him that important message.

There is an organization that may be able to help you regain control of your life. It's Sexaholics Anonymous. It originated in 1979 and is based on the same principles as Alcoholics Anonymous.

Its Web site is www.sa.org and the e-mail address of the Sexaholics Anonymous International Central Office is saico@sa.org. Please contact them ASAP because they will take you seriously, nothing will shock them, and they may be able to help you break the news to your husband in a way that won't end your marriage.