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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I found out a year ago that my wife of eight years had an affair for three years with my best friend. Two months ago I realized she is still contacting him. I found out because I went through her cell records. She said she was just texting him about how he ruined our life. Now I have no access to them, and I suspect she's using a text app so I won't know. She keeps her phone with her all the time.

I can't live like this, and I don't know what to do. I always let her do what she wanted and never had a concern before this. I was always laid-back, but now I can't stop thinking she is up to no good. How do I approach this with her? We have been to counseling. Every time I bring up her affair, she says our marriage will never work because of trust issues, and I agree. Please help. -- OUT OF CHANCES IN FLORIDA

DEAR OUT: Your wife and best friend betrayed you, so your trust issues are well-founded. If she would like to stay married to you, she should not be hiding her cellphone and texts from you. If she's unwilling to cooperate, then what she said is 100% correct -- your marriage will never work, and your next step should be to talk to an attorney.

Read more in: Love & Dating | Friends & Neighbors

Baby's Father Drags His Feet on Marriage

DEAR ABBY: I had a baby a year ago. I'm 46, and my son's father just turned 50. We are looking to buy a house, but I am conflicted. We are not married, and it will be my money that we use for the down payment. I have expressed that I would like to be married before we buy the house, but nothing has happened. I have brought the subject up several times, but I now feel really nervous about his not following through. How should I proceed from here? -- DOWN PAYMENT DILEMMA IN NEW YORK

DEAR D.P.D.: That the father of your baby keeps "forgetting" to address the fact that you want to be married is a red flag. It appears he is unwilling to make that commitment. Before moving forward with buying property with someone who is reluctant to make a commitment, it is extremely important that you discuss this with a lawyer. An attorney can help to ensure your financial interests will be protected. Until you have done that, keep your checkbook firmly closed

Read more in: Money | Marriage & Divorce

Teens Push Back Against Good Table Manners

DEAR ABBY: I am about to be married to a wonderful man who has three teenagers from a previous marriage. His boys are 18 and 16, and his daughter is also 16. They have TERRIBLE table manners, which seem to be encouraged by their grandfather. My fiance has spoken to his dad regarding the unacceptable behavior, yet it continues.

When my fiance tries to enforce common table etiquette, the children ask why the change. Table manners were not part of their upbringing, and they don't see the importance. How do I -- or should I -- attempt to undo 18 years of poor habits? -- EMBARRASSED AT THE TABLE

DEAR EMBARRASSED: Table manners are important. They reveal a lot about someone's upbringing or lack of it. Not knowing the basics can negatively affect not only a person's social life, but also his or her career. You would be doing those young people a huge favor if you speak up and support your fiance in this.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Teens | Etiquette & Ethics

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