DEAR ABBY: I worked the day shift and my wife worked the night shift in a hospital. My "buddy" (I'll call him Ralph) worked the night shift along with her.
Ralph was married, with a young wife and baby. I had never met the wife. After a few months, I realized there was hanky-panky going on between Ralph and my wife. Neither of them suspected I knew.
I was going to make a big fuss and confront them, but realized that people who cheat also lie through their teeth to save themselves. I could have punched Ralph out and thrown my wife out of the house, but I remained calm. Instead, I invited Ralph and his wife to dinner at our home. Next, I told my wife that we were having "surprise" dinner guests.
When the doorbell rang, she ran to answer. When she saw Ralph and his wife, her mouth fell open and for once she was speechless. She remained that way most of the evening as his innocent, cute little wife chatted on about her wonderful marriage and baby and hubby. Ralph and my wife hardly said a word. They appeared very uncomfortable the whole evening.
They both got my message without my firing a shot or his wife being hurt. Ralph went into another line of work two weeks later. -- SKINNED A CAT IN DAYTONA BEACH
DEAR SKINNED A CAT: I'm pleased your story had a happy ending -- for you. Now that you have "skinned the cat," it's time for you and your wife to adopt similar work schedules and begin rebuilding your marriage that became sidetracked. It's not enough to stop the straying; unless you confront the issues that caused it, it could happen again.