DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married 31 years. We have four lovely children and seven grandchildren.
I went to visit a friend out of state for a week. After I returned home, I went to make our bed. When I pulled back the sheets, I found a pair of lacy underwear that is absolutely not mine. I want to confront my husband, but what if I'm wrong? I wonder if there's a logical explanation or it belongs to one of my children who no longer live in the house.
Abby, I love my husband, but I cannot tolerate betrayal like this. What should I do? -- ON PINS AND NEEDLES
DEAR ON PINS AND NEEDLES: Unless your husband has taken to wearing lacy underwear to bed, it appears there may have been a sleepover guest in your absence. Show him what you found, tell him you love him but will not tolerate a betrayal like this. Then insist on marriage counseling. If he values your 31-year marriage, he will take you up on it.
DEAR ABBY: I have just learned that a woman I have been very close with for the last 2 1/2 years has been faking breast cancer. She's a single mother. I decided to be there for her when she first told me about it, and have helped her extensively to pay for her chemo, radiation and other treatments. It turns out the payments were going toward luxuries and cosmetic surgery I discovered only later. The biggest violation for me in all of this was the emotional manipulation.
I have many questions now about how to proceed, but my question to you is: Can someone who is capable of doing this ever truly change? She has expressed some remorse and said that she wants help, but I'm not sure how to proceed. Most people have told me to cut my losses and just walk away or take legal action. There are so many questions involved in this betrayal, but I need to know if there is any hope for someone like this. -- CUTTING MY LOSSES
DEAR CUTTING: Not in my opinion. The woman has sociopathic tendencies -- she has no conscience, as she has amply demonstrated.
You should absolutely take legal action if you're interested in recouping your money. The first step would be to contact the police because the woman has committed fraud. The next step should be to call your lawyer. As to your hurt from her emotional manipulation, recognize that it's time to divorce yourself from your relationship with her.
DEAR ABBY: When children/babies are screaming, crying or misbehaving in a restaurant and the parents do nothing, can we approach them or tell our server to approach them to quiet their child or take the child outside? This happens frequently, and it ruins our dinner. We are senior citizens and would like to enjoy a quiet and peaceful meal. What's the proper way to handle this annoying situation? -- IRRITATED DINER
DEAR IRRITATED DINER: When a child is screaming or misbehaving, a good parent takes the child outside until he/she calms down so other patrons are not bothered. When you encounter a parent who has such little consideration for the rest of the patrons in the restaurant, do NOT approach. Ask the server to do it or refer the problem to the manager.