I read with interest the problem encountered by "Hurt Beyond Words in Cedar Rapids." Sorry to disagree with you, Abby, but "Hurt" needs a divorce lawyer, not a marriage counselor. I'm speaking from experience.

My ex-wife essentially abandoned my kids and me in order to spend time with her "best bud," and married him less than six months after the ink was dry on the divorce she engineered. Yes, I tried counseling; she didn't like the counselor she asked me to choose. But her mind was made up long before the problem became apparent.

My prayer is that "Hurt" will pick himself up, divorce himself from this woman and this situation, and move on with his life.

- Walked in His Boots, Allen, Texas

DEAR WALKED IN HIS BOOTS: Please accept my sympathy. I heard from readers of both sexes whose spouses had left them after Internet affairs, and none of them agreed with me that the marriage might be salvageable. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: I was in the same situation as "Hurt" 10 years ago. My wife at the time also "found" someone online. They started out as friends, and then she drove to Texas to see him. I tried to be strong as I watched her drive off. She promised nothing would happen. Well, something did happen.

We went to marriage counseling before and after her trip. She even flew to spend a long weekend with him while we were in counseling.

My advice is to cut the strings now. She has already cut the emotional strings, and like my ex, she is stringing her husband along while she gets her ducks in a row. As for telling her family, no matter what she does, whether they like it or not, she will always be their little girl, and they will stand by her.

Please urge "Hurt" not to fall into this emotional trap. It's a lost cause, and he should get on with his life.

- Marty in Alabama

DEAR ABBY: That woman has made her choice to throw in the towel and have a premeditated affair by planning the trip. She should have filed for divorce if she wanted out so bad. But sometimes the partner is irresponsible and leaves it up to the other partner to take care of the details. Let her go! Sometimes it's best to go your own separate ways. She ain't worth it!

- Becky in Ogden, Iowa

DEAR ABBY: "Hurt's" wife has fallen for someone online that she knows nothing about. He could be a serial killer as far as she knows. The very idea of her going to Texas saying she's going to see her parents when all the time she's going to meet him - I think she's out of her mind! She may never come back from Texas. He needs to get the divorce papers ready. I wouldn't want to be married to someone who thought so little of me.

- Granny in the South

DEAR ABBY: I was shocked at your response to "Hurt." You advised that husband to talk to his wife's parents about the problems he was having with their daughter?! The No. 1 rule for a good marriage and healthy family dynamics is NOT to talk to the in-laws about the faults of their child. See a counselor or minister for help with your marriage.

- Michelle in East Moline, Ill.

DEAR MICHELLE: I felt that the parents should greet their daughter with their eyes wide open. *

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