DEAR ABBY: I just found out that my boyfriend of 12 years slept with my stepmother last year. She doesn't know I know, and now that I do, I struggle with it. Should I tell my dad what I found out, confront her or let sleeping dogs lie? I am deeply hurt. I feel like my heart has been torn out. How can I forgive and forget this? -- WOUNDED IN UTAH
DEAR WOUNDED: How did you happen upon this news? Did your boyfriend tell you? Unless you are absolutely certain it's true, do nothing. If you are certain, get rid of this poor excuse for a "boyfriend." And tell your father and stepmother what you know and how hurt you are.
DEAR ABBY: You always tell us to consider whether we would be better off with or without somebody. What if it's your sister? My sister and I are of retirement age and had a falling out. I felt she had become too needy, and she was very hurt when I told her so. She is awaiting my apology, which has been the pattern of our lives. Although we live 30 miles apart, I have no desire to contact her.
Because I was usually the one she went to for advice and companionship, I feel guilty for "abandoning" her and often wonder if she's OK. We are both healthy and self-sufficient. I love her because she's my sister, but I can truly say my life is easier and less complicated without her. The thought of contacting her is too much to bear. On the other hand, she's my sister. -- BETTER OFF IN COLORADO
DEAR BETTER OFF: You say your life is better off and less complicated without your needy sibling, and that you have no desire to contact her. OK. So what exactly is your question? Are you waiting for me to "order" you to call her and apologize? The price for that will be shouldering again the burden of her neediness. If you're worried about how she's doing, ask someone who is in touch with her. But hold a good thought. If you have heard nothing, she's probably fine. Bad news has a way of traveling fast.
DEAR ABBY: When we got married, I thought even though he told "everyone" he did it because he had to, that he truly did love me. But as the years have passed, I have realized that maybe he was telling the truth and he did marry me for that reason rather than for love. I feel unloved most of the time. Lately, I have been thinking maybe it's time to just move on. What's your advice? -- FEELING TORN
DEAR FEELING TORN: Rather than dwell on something your husband said in the past, raise the subject again. And when you do, tell him you are doing it because you feel unloved most of the time. If he tells you he meant it then and still feels that way, my advice is to ask yourself if this is the kind of marriage you want for the rest of your life. Some women are so afraid of the unknown that they would stay in this kind of marriage, regardless of the pain. Because I assume you have a child, you and your husband need to figure out if you can improve your relationship. If not, then it may be time to move on.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)