DEAR ABBY

: When I married my husband, "Mason," 30 years ago, I was the only girl he could get. He was a great catch by my standards - and still is. But back then nobody else wanted him but me, which was fine with me. I don't like competition.

We have had a great life together up until the last 10 years or so. Mason is aging gracefully, and there's something about him now that every woman is suddenly interested in.

I used to think I wanted to go out more, but now I just want to stay home and hide my husband inside. The real problem is, Mason loves the attention. I don't know how to handle this without getting my feelings hurt, pouting and being incredibly jealous. He gives me no reason to think he'll be unfaithful, but I can't help but worry.

- Wife of a Late Bloomer

DEAR WIFE: Congratulations. You are now a member of a "club" composed of spouses living in the shadows of actors, politicians, moguls, etc. However, your self-esteem issues could create real problems for you and your husband if you don't learn to deal with them.

You weren't the "only woman Mason could get" - you're the woman Mason CHOSE to spend his life with. The sooner you accept that, the better off both of you will be. If you can't do it on your own, counseling could help because hiding is not the answer.