DEAR ABBY: I found out a few months ago that my husband, "Hal," the father of my children, has had affairs with five different women. I left, and we are now being divorced.
I desperately wanted revenge, so I have been secretly seeing Hal's good friend "Ron," whom he "forbade" me from contacting after I told him his infidelity and disrespect gave me permission to act on the attraction I had for Ron. It's just a friends-with-benefits situation and I am having fun, so I don't really consider it to be revenge.
Hal has spent the last five months begging me to forgive him and work on our marriage, but I no longer love him and I certainly don't trust him. I told him I would "work on" forgiving him, so now he calls, says he still loves me and flirts.
The last woman Hal cheated on me with is his current girlfriend. He told me that if I ever want to hook up, I should make sure to use code words when leaving messages because she might see my calls and text messages. He also told me that he is not interested in a long-term relationship with her.
I slept with Hal recently to have leverage. I was contemplating sending her the proof as payback for how she treated me some months back, although I don't want her boyfriend back. I am now questioning if this is the right thing to do. Should I just leave it alone?
- Payback Somewhere In the USA
DEAR PAYBACK: Yes, do it for everyone's sake - including your own. This cycle of revenge is doing no one any good.
Worried man with a good-timing woman
DEAR ABBY: Before we had kids, my wife and I would occasionally go out with groups of friends or to social functions, but it was difficult to get her to go home. She always liked closing the place down, and if we left early I felt like I was dragging her away.
For the first five years after our children were born we didn't get out much. My wife is now starting to go out with friends from work - a mixed group of single and married guys and gals. She has invited me to come along, but sitters are expensive and I'm not friendly with her coworkers. She stays out with them until 3 to 4 a.m. once a month. I think that's ridiculously late when you have a husband and children at home.
When she's not here, I can't sleep and I worry that something is wrong. She rarely calls to check in unless I ask her to. Overall I trust her, but with her drinking heavily and many single guys around, I don't feel comfortable with the situation. I don't know what to do.
- Lonely Dad In Arizona
DEAR LONELY DAD: I have it on good authority that last call for serving alcohol in Arizona is 2 a.m. Could your wife be drinking so heavily that she needs the time to sober up in order to drive home? If that's the case, she may be a binge drinker, which isn't healthy.
The implications of your letter are serious, so you should sit down with her and have a discussion about the amount she imbibes on her nights out. You shouldn't have to worry about her, so out of respect for your feelings, she should routinely let you know how long she'll be after the bars/clubs close.
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