DEAR ABBY: It has recently come to my attention that my doctor was married for almost 20 years and divorced his wife to marry a much younger woman. I am upset over this because I feel he just threw her away after she had four children with him.
I don't know why I feel so strongly about it, but never in my wildest dreams did I think he would do something like this. I find it hard to look him in the eye and trust his judgment about my health.
I have a serious medical test coming up that he will be performing. I don't know what to do. I just can't stop thinking about this. I feel so bad for his wife and grown children. Please help me. I don't dare talk to anyone about this. -- SHAKEN IN MAYNARD, MASS.
DEAR SHAKEN: There could be a couple of reasons why you're obsessing about what you heard. The first may be that you identify strongly with your doctor's wife and resent the idea that she could have been traded in for a newer model. And second, you are distracting yourself with gossip about his personal life rather than focusing on the seriousness of the test you're facing.
People's professional qualifications usually have little to do with the state of their love lives. A doctor, lawyer, veterinarian -- even a politician -- can be capable and effective in his (or her) job and still waver in the face of temptation. (Also, has it occurred to you that your doctor's wife may have divorced HIM because she found someone more emotionally fulfilling after the children were grown?)
For the sake of your health, please consider being less judgmental and concentrate on your own needs and prognosis. It doesn't take a saint to read an X-ray or analyze a biopsy -- it involves a different part of the brain than that which guides the impulses of the heart. If you cannot do that, then you should consult another doctor.