Dear Abby: Every time my husband is confronted about his cheating, he denies it

Text messages prove he’s been unfaithful to his wife of 23 years.

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DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 23 years. About a year ago, our 22-year-old daughter became suspicious that her dad might be having an affair. She found out it was true through his text messages.

When we sat down as a family and discussed it, at first he denied it. He got upset to the point that he told our daughter to leave the house, which she did for two weeks. We asked her to come back after my husband and I talked to work things out and I took him to confession. We later all went away for a vacation together.

Some time has passed, and I looked at his phone and saw he’s been at it again, this time with a 30-year-old woman who lives here, and another one in another state. When I told him I knew, he denied it. Recently, I’ve been going to counseling. I need advice. — SUSPICIOUS IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR SUSPICIOUS: By now it should be apparent that your husband cannot or will not stop womanizing and lying to you. I’m glad you are seeing a licensed therapist, because you need to decide rationally whether the situation you’re living with is one you are willing to tolerate. You should also schedule an appointment with your doctor to be tested for STDs, and one with an attorney to find out what your rights are as a wife of 23 years in New Jersey. After that, you will have a clearer idea of what to do.

DEAR ABBY: I met this guy online three months ago. He’s the greatest guy I have ever met. He respects me in ways no other man has respected me, and I appreciate that about him so much. I feel like I may be in love with him, but I don’t know if that’s the case or if it’s because I’m alone and vulnerable and want someone to love me back. I was never close with my biological father or my adoptive father, so some of this may be “daddy issues.” Should I tell him how I feel about him, or is it way too soon? — TAKEN BY HIM IN MICHIGAN

DEAR TAKEN: It would be more prudent to wait until you are sure about your feelings for this guy before declaring your love. Slow down. Let the relationship evolve until you are sure about your motivations. If you do, he may beat you to the punch.

DEAR ABBY: I have a problem. I’m 8 and I want a dog, but my parents won’t let me have one. The last time we had a dog, I left the door open and it got run over. I feel really sad and bad about it, but I want another dog. Even though it was an accident, my parents don’t trust me. How can I show them I’m responsible enough and I won’t forget to close the door again? — REALLY WANTS A DOG IN SACRAMENTO

DEAR REALLY WANTS: Please accept my sympathy for your loss. Because you didn’t mention how long ago your dog was lost, I will assume it is fairly recent. You might be able to regain your parents’ trust if you begin accepting responsibilities at home. Do they want you to make your bed, keep your room neat, help in the kitchen or the yard? Shouldering these kinds of responsibilities can show parents you are ready for more ... like caring for a pet, for instance. I wish you luck.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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