DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for 25 years. He recently started running around and partying with his pals. He hardly has any time for me. I found out that he had cheated on me several times with different women, not once. I was devastated so I went for a while but decided to try and sort things out.
I also cheated in my absence. I’m sorry, but I’ve developed some very real feelings for someone. I haven’t seen him in two years, but I still feel like I want him and be with him. I love my husband and we are working to sort things out but I don’t know what to do. I feel like I’m in love with both of them. I’m still texting the other person, but we’re not going any further.
– AFFECTED IN OHIO
DEAR CHEAT: You may be in love with both of you, but you have made a commitment to clear things up with your husband. If you are being honest, you need to completely break away from the man you cheated with and focus on your marriage. If you are not sure if you can do this, marriage counseling can help you decide what your next step should be. But a warning: the grass isn’t always greener after you’ve skipped the fence.
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DEAR ABBY: I went to a bar a couple of weekends ago and met a handsome stranger who looked a little familiar. His name sounded like I’d heard him before. We talked for hours and it felt like we’d known each other forever. He escorted me back to my apartment and we kissed in front of my door. The next morning I made a terrible discovery: he’s my second cousin! We hadn’t seen each other for over 20 years. When I got the news to him, he told me he still wanted to be in a relationship. I’m confused about what to do and how to feel. Please help.
– KISSING THE COUSIN IN MAINE
DEAR COUSIN: Marriage between second cousins is legal in every state. If you like this man and it seems like you do, let the relationship play out and see where it leads. If you are concerned about possible genetic complications, these should be discussed with your (and his) doctor. Genetic testing should address your concerns.
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DEAR ABBY: I’ve been with my boyfriend for four years. He talks about marrying me and even gave me an “engagement ring”. The problem is, when I ask him about a wedding date, he looks upset, like I’m pressuring him to marry me. He gave me the ring almost three years ago. Should I end this relationship if we don’t get on the same page?
– ENGAGEMENT IN NORTH CAROLINA
LOVE ENGAGED: You have to get to the bottom of why he’s hesitant. If he’s worried about the cost or uncomfortable with the excitement of a big wedding, you could agree to a small court ceremony. However, if your friend (note that I did not use the word “fiancé”) cannot find a valid reason for not going through his marriage proposal, ending the engagement is exactly what you should be doing because the ring you are wearing is is nothing more than a “promise” ring.