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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: Before I met my boyfriend, "Cory," he had a married female friend he'd go out with -- dancing, dinner, movies, etc. He says there was no sex involved, and I believe him. He has asked me to be friends with her and her husband, and I have tried.

However, whenever she's around Cory, they ignore everyone else. She even tried to go on vacation with us! What really upset me was when Cory thought it was OK to ask if "we" could go out with her! It's like she has always been in our relationship.

I have told him they are (and have been) having a non-sexual affair. He's a wonderful man otherwise, and I know he loves me. How can I get her out of our lives? -- FEELING LIKE A THIRD WHEEL

DEAR FEELING: It would be interesting to know what this female friend's husband thinks about her relationship with your boyfriend. Dinner, dancing, movies -- possible shared vacations -- seems like an unusual amount of "togetherness." Talk to her husband, and you may gain some insight.

As to how you can get her out of your lives, the answer is you probably can't. Unless your boyfriend is willing to accept that their relationship is a threat to the one he has with you and is willing to let it go, she will be in his life -- and yours -- for a long, long time.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been happily married for four years. Like many couples, we are discussing having a family and we both agree the time is now.

My husband was adopted at birth by a loving couple whom he has always known as his parents. They are fantastic people, but I'd still like to know my husband's family medical history before putting myself or our child at risk for any hereditary complications.

My mother-in-law thinks this "inquisition into the family's personal business" is uncalled for. I think it's important to get a full family medical history before having children. Am I out of line, or should he try to locate his biological parents? -- NEEDS TO KNOW IN IOWA

DEAR NEEDS TO KNOW: I don't think you're out of line. However, if your husband is reluctant to reach out -- even to request his birth parents' medical histories -- then you may be able to obtain the information you're concerned about by having genetic testing done on the two of you. If necessary, discuss it with your physician.

DEAR ABBY: I am a coach's wife and would love some advice on how to handle "fans" who make rude comments about the people who coach their high school-age kids.

I listen to parents constantly gripe and complain about their children's coaches. How can I gracefully manage this situation? I refuse to listen to degrading, negative comments about my husband and his co-workers. Please advise. -- MRS. COACH IN TEXAS

DEAR MRS. COACH: There is nothing you can do to stop comments like that during a game. Some parents act more like children than their children do. However, if it's happening in social situations, a way to deal with it would be to remind the offenders that you'd rather not hear about "work" when you're trying to have fun. Another would be to excuse yourself if the parent has been drinking.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)