DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Cliff," is in prison and we're not sure when he'll be out. We have two wonderful children, ages 11 and 13. We are allowed to visit him six times a month and can talk with him on the phone up to four times a week. Despite his incarceration, he is as involved as he can be in our lives.
I have a problem when meeting new people who ask where my husband is. The stigma of having a husband in jail is not something I want to carry in the small town where we live. Plus, I don't think it is something our children's friends should know because they might taunt them.
As happens more times than we'd like to think in this country, my husband was wrongfully convicted, and the explanation is a lengthy one. So, short of telling each person the whole story, what reply can I come up with when asked the whereabouts of my husband? -- NEEDS AN ANSWER IN OHIO
DEAR NEEDS AN ANSWER: You could tell your neighbors that you and your husband are having a "trial" separation -- but please be aware that the cat will be out of the bag the minute one of your children confides their father's whereabouts to a close friend. In a small town, there are very few secrets.