DEAR ABBY: I recently retired and moved to a small town in Washington, where I began attending the local church. Last Sunday, a new assistant pastor was introduced along with his wife, "Millie." Abby, Millie is the woman who broke up my marriage 10 years ago! It was so painful and ugly that I have never remarried.
Millie, on the other hand, appears to have "erased" from her biography two previous marriages, countless affairs (my husband was one), and a short stint in prison for drugs. She is now -- and this is what irks me -- teaching marriage classes. She does not recognize me. The last 10 years have been hard on me. I put on weight and stopped coloring my hair, among other things.
If Millie was just a member of the congregation, I could forgive her past sins. But Millie is lying to everyone -- maybe even her clueless husband. Should I stay quiet and watch this farce, inform the senior pastor, or drive 30 minutes to attend another church? (And yes, I'm sure it's her. There's no doubt about it.) -- HATES HYPOCRITES IN WASHINGTON
DEAR HATES HYPOCRITES: Have you considered that Millie may have realized the error of her ways and found God in prison? It is also possible that her husband is aware of her past. As to her fitness to teach marriage classes -- one thing is certain, she knows firsthand where the pitfalls are.
Rather than seeking revenge, it would be better for your own soul if you change churches. But before you go, walk up to Millie and introduce yourself. I'll bet she'll be surprised to see how the past has come full circle. Then go on and start living your life fully again, and that includes getting professional counseling so you can heal and learn to trust again, and enjoy your life to the maximum that it's possible.