DEAR ABBY: Two years ago, my boyfriend broke up with me by sending me a note. We had been together for 14 years. His boss had introduced him to a twice-divorced woman with three kids. What really hurts me is he started his new relationship with a lie. He told her he wasn't involved with anyone.
He just contacted me to tell me they are engaged. I feel bad for his fiancee and her kids because he is very self-centered. When we dated, we never went anywhere. He only wanted to watch TV. I don't want her to end up with a broken heart like I did. Abby, does the truth ever win out? -- BROKENHEARTED JERSEY GAL
DEAR GAL: Yes, sometimes it does, but in this case, it's not going to bring your boyfriend back. The truth is, you are still heartbroken about losing him. He and his fiancee have been together for two years. By now she knows him pretty well. I doubt there is anything you could say at this point that would break them up, so stop looking backward and start looking toward your own future. Only then will your broken heart heal.
DEAR ABBY: My husband is a wonderful man. However, over the last few years he has developed an annoying habit of telling jokes wherever we go and to whomever we interact with. Most times his jokes are off-color.
He does it in mixed company when we are out to dinner with friends. It embarrasses me, and I feel it's demeaning to women in general. I'm afraid he's getting a reputation of being a dirty old man. Most of the jokes are ones he hears at the gym where he works out every day.
I have asked him to stop, but he thinks he's being funny and no one minds, so he continues doing it. I have threatened that the next time he does it I'll leave the table and go home. How else do I handle this? -- LOSING MY SENSE OF HUMOR
DEAR LOSING YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR: You say you are friendly with these couples. If that's the case, discuss this with some of the other wives. Tell them how you feel, and ask them how they feel about your husband's jokes. If they, too, find them embarrassing, you might get your message across more effectively if you -- and they -- tell your husband as a group that you'd like him to stop.
DEAR ABBY: I work with a woman who has turned in her retirement papers for the end of next month. However, I know from a reliable source that she's pushing the company to allow her to come back and work part-time after she retires.
I was assigned the task of planning her retirement party and have also been invited to a surprise party being given by her daughter. Should we be having a retirement party if she isn't really leaving the company? -- RETIRED IN THE EAST
DEAR RETIRED: This is a question you should be asking your supervisor or boss. Whether your co-worker will be allowed to return and work on a part-time basis is something neither of us can predict. So unless you are instructed to the contrary, you should perform your task as directed.
To receive a collection of Abby's most memorable -- and most frequently requested -- poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.