Wife’s wild past puts fu­ture of mar­riage in jeop­ardy

The Washington Times Daily - - Weather - ABI­GAIL VAN BUREN

DEAR ABBY: This is my wife’s sec­ond mar­riage. When we were dat­ing, she led me to be­lieve that I was the sec­ond sex­ual part­ner she had ever had. Shortly af­ter our wed­ding, I found out through some mu­tual ac­quain­tances she had at­tended col­lege with that she had been very pro­mis­cu­ous dur­ing her col­lege years and that the num­ber of men she has been with is far greater than two.

I feel lied to and trapped in my mar­riage. (If I had known this, I would not have mar­ried her.) She knows I know. She dis­missed it by say­ing the past doesn’t mat­ter, but what she fails to rec­og­nize is that it mat­ters to ME. I can’t help but won­der if she has lied to me about some­thing this im­por­tant, what else will she lie to me about?

I love her and want to stay with her, but I feel be­trayed and, frankly, em­bar­rassed by her now. What do I do? -- CON­FOUNDED IN THE SOUTH

DEAR CON­FOUNDED: Peo­ple lie when they feel threat­ened, when they want to im­press some­one or when they’re ashamed of some­thing. The lie your wife told you may fall into the lat­ter cat­e­gory. She wasn’t hon­est about the num­ber of men she had been with be­cause she knew you would re­act the way you have.

You say you love her, but if you truly feel em­bar­rassed by the fact that you’re not the sec­ond man she has slept with, then you ei­ther need to change your at­ti­tude or do her a fa­vor and think about end­ing your mar­riage. From my per­spec­tive, the num­ber of lovers she has had since the wed­ding is far more im­por­tant than the num­ber she had be­fore.

Please be aware that many women in our so­ci­ety have had mul­ti­ple part­ners, so if you’re look­ing to re­place your wife any­time soon, you may be hard pressed to find a woman with no ex­pe­ri­ence. If you want to sal­vage your mar­riage, I strongly rec­om­mend you talk to a ther­a­pist, but don’t spend your money un­less you can for­give your wife for be­ing afraid to tell you the truth.

DEAR ABBY: I’m a 16-year-old guy, and I have a prob­lem. I re­cently met a girl in a chat room, and we seemed to hit it off pretty well. As we’ve been talk­ing, she has told me she is sui­ci­dal, and in the past three days she has made three at­tempts to take her life. (As I’m writ­ing this, she is in the hos­pi­tal.)

Be­ing a sen­si­tive per­son, I try to talk her out of it, but she keeps shut­ting me out, and once she’s OK, she is a com­pletely dif­fer­ent per­son. I still want to be her friend, but this is get­ting to be too much for me. Please help. -- WOR­RIED IN VERMONT

DEAR WOR­RIED: You are a car­ing per­son, but you must rec­og­nize that the girl you are cor­re­spond­ing with is emo­tion­ally frag­ile. Right now she is un­able to re­spond to you and, frankly, you are not equipped to help her. It’s good that she is in the hos­pi­tal be­cause that is where she needs to be un­til she can be sta­bi­lized.

If you con­tinue to stay in touch with her and she tells you again that she is sui­ci­dal, you should ask her where she is and if she has done any­thing to her­self. Then call 911 and re­port it so she can get help QUICKLY.

DEAR ABBY: What do you do with a hus­band who is loud and rude, who curses con­stantly and ar­gues with you and the TV, and is a bully to you and your daugh­ter? -THAT’S IT IN A NUT­SHELL

DEAR THAT’S IT: As lit­tle as pos­si­ble!

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