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Husband's Plumbing Help Results In Leaky Marriage

Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: I have been with my husband for 19 years. I offered his plumbing services to a married couple I work with. While he was fixing the problem, he became friendly with their adult daughter. She was lonely and I knew the family, so I wasn't concerned. Their relationship developed into something more and we separated. He ended their friendship and we reconciled.

Things were going great, but she continued to contact him. He has suddenly decided he can't live without her friendship and has decided to divorce me in order to continue it with her. He swears it's platonic, but something he can't live without. He hopes we can "still be friends"!

My question is how to move on from this. I have to see her enabling parents every day at work, and all of this happened under their roof. I feel betrayed on every level, especially by my husband, who was my best friend. Every aspect of my life, including my job, has been affected.

Have you any advice for moving past this without all of the anger I carry? I don't want to leave my job. It pays well and the commute is easy. But every time I see either one of the parents, I want to cry and scream.

P.S. My husband and I still live together as "roommates," as this is all very recent, and we haven't figured out our living arrangements yet. -- WRONGED IN NEW ENGLAND

DEAR WRONGED: I do not for one minute believe that your husband's relationship with this woman is strictly platonic, and neither should you. Consult a lawyer now, while you and your husband are still "roommates." Make sure he doesn't hide any assets because, after 19 years of marriage, you should be entitled to a healthy share of them.

I agree that you have been wronged, but for now hang onto your temper. "Best friends" don't treat each other the way you have been treated. It may take the help of a religious adviser or licensed mental health professional for you to let go of your anger.


DEAR ABBY: My friend of five years, "Gigi," has a heart of gold. However, we were raised differently. Gigi comes into my home when I'm not here and borrows whatever she needs without telling me. And whether I'm here or not, she feels free to go through everything -- personal documents, my drawers and cabinets. Nothing is safe from her fingers or her eyes.

I have tolerated her behavior because when I tried talking to her about it, she became upset and started crying, which made her husband irate. I'm now dating a man who values his privacy, and my friend's behavior bothers him. He's friendly with Gigi's husband and deals with my friend only out of respect for her husband.

How can I get her to leave things alone without her having another meltdown? I don't want to lose a friend, but my boyfriend has a valid point that I happen to agree with. -- INVADED IN TEXAS

DEAR INVADED: How does this woman get into your home when you're not there? Does she have a key? If she does, ask for it back or change your locks. And when you know Gigi is coming over, place anything you would prefer this nosy woman not peruse out of sight or under lock and key. That way, you can reclaim your privacy without being directly confrontational.


Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


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