DEAR ABBY: A few months ago I became suspicious that my wife of 40 years was having an affair with an old high school friend. At first I thought I was misreading the signs. Then I found an unfinished e-mail on our computer making a date to meet him "at our special place," and I was crushed. I began gathering information and found it was true and that it had been going on for some time.
When I confronted her, she denied everything until I told her about the e-mail and everything else I had found. She eventually admitted it was true and said she had wanted only to see if she was still attractive to men because she felt we were "drifting apart in our lives."
We tried counseling, but when she was able to make only one appointment due to "job conflicts," I gave up. I don't trust anything she tells me now, and I don't know which way to turn.
I stupidly agreed not to discuss this with any of her family or friends. I hate thinking that everything I thought we were working for will end up being split down the middle (if I'm lucky), and I will probably be painted as the one at fault.
— DUPED AND TRUSTLESS IN WASHINGTON STATE
DEAR DUPED AND TRUSTLESS: Because your wife refused counseling does not mean that you shouldn't go, and that's what I'm urging you to do. You need someone who is not emotionally involved to help you get your head straight. Once you do, you will have a better idea of what you want to do and how to accomplish it. You should also save the evidence, in case your wife tries in the coming months to lay the blame for her infidelity on you. You have my sympathy.
DEAR ABBY: My son was married a short time ago. The reception was held at my condo member hall. After the reception, the bride and groom asked me to refrigerate the leftover bottom layer of the wedding cake. They said they'd pick it up the next day.
Six days later, the cake was still in my fridge. They made excuses every day for not picking it up. Finally, I threw it away.
Now I'm the bad guy, and the bride is demanding an apology. Abby, the cake was hard and crusty, and I felt six days was long enough. Was I wrong in dumping the cake?
— FATHER OF THE GROOM IN FORT WORTH
DEAR FATHER: Let me put it this way — rather than storing the cake in the fridge, it should have immediately gone into the freezer so it could be eaten at a later date. But because that didn't happen, and the cake was fit only to be used as a paving stone or a doorstop, the logical thing to do was throw it away.
DEAR ABBY: I am in my 50s and part of a management team at work. My first name is Mary. Every time the boss sees me he starts reciting that nursery rhyme, "Mary, Mary, quite contrary!" I find it belittling and insulting.
I have expressed my dislike of what he's doing, but he can't seem to stop. Is this a form of workplace harassment?
— "QUITE" ANNOYED IN ALABAMA
DEAR ANNOYED: If you have told your boss you find what he's doing to be unwelcome and he continues anyway, it might qualify as creating a hostile work environment. It appears you work for an insensitive clod whose attempts to be clever are annoying and pathetic rather than witty. You have my sympathy.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.