DEAR ABBY: To be honest with you, if I had a gun, I could shoot either myself or my ex-boyfriend. I was in love with him from the first day we met. We talked about everything in life and also about our relationship. Now he says he's "not ready" for a relationship!

I don't understand men. Don't they know that we have hearts? How could he just wake up one morning and make a decision without considering my feelings or how it will affect me?

Abby, I have a child, and my breasts are not that attractive. I even told him I would go under the knife to make them just the way he wants them. Now I'm left wondering if I should still go for the surgery so maybe he'll be attracted to me again and come back. I can't bear the idea that maybe he has found someone else who is more attractive.

I need your help because sometimes I feel so much hate for him that I feel like getting revenge and doing something to him so no woman will ever be attracted to him anymore, and he'll feel what I'm feeling now. I will wait upon your answer so I'll know what to do next.

"" RAGING IN DUBAI

DEAR RAGING: The first thing you must do is calm yourself. Do nothing until your anger subsides and you are again thinking clearly &

which you aren't right now.

I know you are hurting, and your disappointment and anger are palpable, but you have something far more important to consider than "getting revenge," and that is the welfare of your child. How would your actions affect your child?

A man who would criticize your breasts was not truly interested in you &

the person attached to them. Having plastic surgery in the hope that a man who rejected you will return is the wrong reason for having it done. You could have breasts like the Venus de Milo, and it wouldn't win the heart of a man who simply craves variety.

I am not familiar with the mental health services that are available in Dubai. If you lived in the United States, I would urge you to talk to a psychologist because I feel strongly that you have underlying issues that predate the experience you have described in your letter. If that is not possible, then please talk to some older women you can trust so they can share their wisdom with you. You are in my prayers.

DEAR ABBY: My mother-in-law lives alone, but comes to our house every day to eat lunch and dinner. She has a son who lives in the same town as my wife and me, but she never goes to his house.

My wife doesn't like this arrangement either, but she doesn't know how to tactfully tell her mother to stay away once in a while. We're both in our late 40s; her mother is 82. We would like to spend some time alone.

When I say my mother-in-law is here every day, I mean EVERY DAY! Please tell me if this is normal, and how we can tell her we need some alone time.

"" PAUL IN VIRGINIA

DEAR PAUL: No, it is not "normal." You have described a woman who appears to be isolated and friendless. Could she also have money problems or a physical disability that prevents her from shopping and preparing her own meals?

If you and your wife would like some time alone, then you both are going to have to find the backbone to say so. And, if necessary, you or your wife should prepare a dish that her mother can eat in her own home.

Dear Abby is written by Jeanne Phillip. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.