Today's Paper Latest Coronavirus The Article iPad Core Values Weather Newsletters Obits Puzzles Archive Story ideas

OPINION | DEAR ABBY: ‘Other woman’ rebuilds her life after affair fizzles

by Abigail Van Buren | January 14, 2022 at 1:00 a.m.

Dear Abby: I’m a 38-year-old woman who used to be nice. Then I had a three-year affair. Knowing I’m one of America’s bigger fools is infuriating, but I finally saw the light. The only person I think is a bigger fool than me is his wife.

Some “highlights” of our romance: He gave me an STD during spring break, I found “Ally’s” phone number in his contact file, and I saw a blonde in a white convertible drop him off in front of his house at 9:15 in the morning, which, according to him, “never happened.” After I was struck by a car in a crosswalk, he never once called me to see how I was. There’s more, but I’ll spare you.

Please warn your readers to stay away from affairs. They demean you, your mate will lose trust in you, and the person you’re having the affair with can’t be trusted. This “wonderful” man is an elementary school teacher.

Like I said, I used to be nice. I used to care and trust. No more! Will I ever forgive myself? I have spent thousands of dollars for counseling. It’s a lot of money, but I am worth it. — Finally Saw The Light

Dear Finally: Love may be blind, but I’m pleased you saw the light. I’m also pleased that you realized you needed professional help to regain some self-esteem. Your bitterness jumps off the pages of your letter. If you work on that with your counselor, too, it will be money well spent.

Dear Abby: I was widowed 10 years ago. My late husband’s sister, “Barbara,” who is also now a widow with no family, considers me her sister and friend. I have never felt close to her. We are very different, and neither my husband nor I had any real contact with her before.

Barbara is a domineering, self-pitying hypochondriac with no friends. We live fairly near each other, and I have the feeling since the loss of her husband three years ago that she’s expecting me to be her companion and caregiver going into her elder years. I’d slit my wrists first!

I don’t want to hurt Barbara’s feelings; I just want to enjoy my own senior years. How can I gently remove myself from Barbara’s game plan? — Didn’t Sign Up For This

Dear Didn’t Sign Up:

“Gently” remove yourself from Barbara’s game plan by being increasingly less available. She may be strong-willed and domineering, but you do not have to knuckle under or be a dumping ground for her problems.

If she asks to get together, be busy. If she’s depressed, suggest grief counseling. If she suggests you help her going into her declining years, explain that won’t be possible because you plan to travel. You do not have to be cruel or heavy-handed. Just hang on to your sense of humor and keep your distance.

DearAbby is written byAbigailVan Buren also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips Contact DearAbby at P.O.Box 69440,Los

Angeles,CA 90069 or visit


Sponsor Content