DEAR ABBY: I am a schoolteacher. Last year I had a brief affair with a much older, married man. He was the principal of my school. I was deeply in love with him and ready to leave my husband to be with him. However, I got cold feet and chose to stay in my marriage, although it had been less than perfect for years.
I confessed everything to my husband, and then told the principal my decision. I haven't seen him since.
I feel an overpowering need to apologize to my lover for what I did to him. You see, I lied and led my husband and the school board to believe that I had been taken advantage of. I called him a "sexual predator" who had forced me into the affair, and he was forced to resign from the school.
Abby, he did not take advantage of me. I knew exactly what I was doing. In fact, I still have strong feelings for him.
Please tell me what I can do to set the record straight and find peace. -- REMORSEFUL IN THE U.S.A.
DEAR REMORSEFUL: It won't be easy. Begin by telling your husband the truth. Next, write a letter to the school board and tell them exactly what you have told me. That will "set the record straight." Your clergyperson will have to help you find peace, because you have a lot to atone for. Please don't wait.
Remember, the longest journey starts with a single step.