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Man’s neighborly friendship goes too far

Dear Abby: My husband, "Aaron," had an affair with the woman next door. We were close friends. I found out three months ago, and needless to say I'm not happy about it. My husband and I spent a lot of time with her (he obviously more than I).

Aaron swears the affair is over, and he wants us to become a close threesome again. (She's in the process of divorcing her husband, who knows nothing about the affair.)

The three of us have gone to the beach, to the lake, dancing – just like old times. My husband is thrilled; I am miserable.

I am not convinced the affair is over, so I feel compelled to keep my eye on them. Every time we go out together, I come home upset and frustrated. Aaron says I'm being unreasonable and keeping him on a "short leash." He sees no reason why we can't all be friends – but I have no desire to be friends with her.

Aaron and I have been together more than 20 years. I don't want to divorce him. I need to know what to do without driving him back into her arms. I have suggested counseling. He says he doesn't need it. What do you think I should do about this awkward situation? – Not Loving My Neighbor

Dear Not Loving: Three is a crowd, and your husband's insistence that you continue this painful and degrading threesome is highly suspicious. Please waste no time in getting counseling. If your husband refuses, go without him. It will make you stronger and help you to feel better about yourself at a time when you need it most.

You may not "want" a divorce, but be smart and discuss your options and a fair division of property with a lawyer NOW, so should a divorce be thrust upon you, you will be prepared in advance. You should also talk to a CPA, who can help you locate all the assets in your marriage. This will also give you peace of mind when you tell your husband that the threesome is history. I wish you the best of luck.

Dear Abby: My longtime friend "Mona," a busy professional and social butterfly, had a baby last year. Her son is now a toddler. Aside from his regular day care, Mona is lining up baby sitters so she can resume her social life.

She has asked me to volunteer. I do not relate well to young children. I have had no experience with them and, quite frankly, want none.

Mona has always known this, but when I told her I didn't think it would work out for me to baby-sit, she took offense and accused me of being a bad friend.

Now I feel guilty because Mona has always been good to me. However, I'm more than a little resentful that she put me in this position, knowing how I feel about kids. How should I handle this? – Not Keen On Kids

Dear Not Keen On Kids: True friends don't impose on their friends for baby-sitting services when they've been told it would be awkward. Stand your ground and don't allow yourself to be manipulated. You shouldn't feel guilty about your feelings. Many people feel the same way.

Dear Abby: This morning as I was wheeling my grocery cart to the "return" area in our local grocery store parking lot, a boy of about 9 had the nerve to tell me, "Don't smoke."

While I agree with parents who teach their children that smoking is harmful, I also feel they should teach their children to respect their elders (I'm 52) and to mind their own business.

Am I wrong to feel this child was out of line? – Lighting Up in Mims, Fla.

Dear Lighting Up: The child was not being disrespectful – he was being honest. From the mouths of babes ...

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.

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