DEAR ABBY: Thirty years ago when I was an Army officer, my wife "went crazy." She had an affair and wound up getting pregnant. When I got out of the Army, she saw the man one time more before we moved and got pregnant again! We had a child together later.
When I found out my eldest son didn't have the correct blood type, I confronted her and she admitted it. I then had all my children tested and realized only the last one is mine. I love the other two as well as my son, and I would not destroy his or the other boys' lives.
My wife and I had counseling and it helped some. The problem is, I feel like my life has been destroyed and I don't know what to do. -- COUNSELING HELPED ... BUT
DEAR C.H.B.: I assume you and your wife had joint counseling after you learned about her repeated infidelities. While your faith in women may have been shaken, your life has not been "destroyed." Feeling as you do, it's time for you to PRIVATELY discuss your feelings with another licensed mental health professional. After that, you will be better equipped to rationally decide how to move forward.
DEAR ABBY: My sister-in-law is getting married soon. Originally, she asked my 4-year-old daughter, "Emma," to be her flower girl. Emma was very excited.
A few weeks ago, I asked when my daughter needed to be fitted for her dress. My sister-in-law then informed me they had chosen my niece to be the flower girl the day after she asked Emma. No one ever mentioned it to us.
It was left to me to tell my daughter, and she was devastated. She still cries about it. I am holding in so much anger and hurt that I have been avoiding the family so there won't be any fighting close to the "big day." Am I wrong to be upset with my sister-in-law and mother-in-law for excluding my little girl and not telling her themselves? -- MIFFED IN ALABAMA
DEAR MIFFED: No, you're not. The way it was handled was extremely insensitive. Your sister-in-law owes you an explanation for what happened and your daughter an apology.
DEAR ABBY: I will be receiving some money from a court settlement soon. Only five friends were true friends and stood by me. They assisted me during the two years I was totally destitute. They all know I'm involved in a lawsuit and that I will receive compensation.
My question is, should I tell them how much I'm getting? I don't like to lie, but the idea of revealing my monetary status makes me uncomfortable. I never promised any of them money, so that's not an issue. I will cheerfully compensate them all for their loyalty in ongoing daily ways.
What should I do or say when they ask how much I received? I don't want to be perceived as rude. -- UNCERTAIN IN THE SOUTH
DEAR UNCERTAIN: The amount you will be receiving is really nobody's business. It would not be rude to say that you'd prefer not to discuss it because it makes you uncomfortable, and change the subject.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)