DEAR ABBY: I am 21 and on my second marriage. My husband of two years is every girl's dream man -- the kindest, gentlest, most patient guy. He loves me for everything, including my flaws. I honestly believe he is the only one who could ever handle me.
So tell me, why am I cheating on him? I never thought I could find myself in this situation. I have a lot happening in my life, but there is no excuse for why I am straying from such an amazing husband. I love him, but when I get a text, I hope so badly that it's from the other man, and when it's from my husband I feel disappointment.
We see the other man. He works for my parents. This situation is messy, and I don't know what to do. I can't tell my husband -- it would ruin his life. I'd rather just leave him without giving any reason than tell him the truth. I want to leave him and live my own life, but I'm afraid to be on my own. I don't know why I stay. I'm lost and confused. Can I have some advice, please? -- RECKLESS IN FLORIDA
DEAR RECKLESS: You're playing at matrimony as if it were a game instead of a deep, enduring partnership. Staying married to someone because you're afraid to be on your own is doing both of you a disservice.
If you think leaving your husband "for no reason" would be less hurtful than telling him the truth, you are mistaken. You owe it to him to level with him about the affair so he won't blame himself for your leaving. When you do, I strongly recommend that you get counseling from a licensed mental health professional to help you slow down and more carefully consider what you're doing before you marry a third time.