DEAR ABBY: Prior to my marriage, my wife-to-be told me that she was not a virgin. (I was.) We now have been married for more than 20 years and have a wonderful family. My problem is that I have never forgotten that my wife did not wait for marriage before sharing her bed. Even though I have had counseling, I still feel pain in my heart when I think of my wife in the arms of other men. To this day, I would marry my wife again, but I wish that God would have granted her the wisdom to keep silent as to her earlier men. Please do not disclose the city I mailed this from, as I do not want to embarrass my family. Just sign me . . . TORN HEART
DEAR TORN HEART: Please quit torturing yourself. Perhaps the following letter will do for you what counseling did not. Read it twice. Then read it again:DEAR ABBY: I am happily married to the finest man who ever walked in shoe leather.
My childhood and adolescence was not a very pretty one. I had been sexually abused by family members and had been in four different foster homes by the time I was 17. I grew up very fast, if you know what I mean. I waited on tables to put myself through college. It took me five years, but I graduated - but I'm getting off my story.
I met a beautiful young man who was studying for the ministry. We were exactly the same age. Within a year, he asked me to marry him. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
We've been married for three years. On our wedding night, I told him I would answer any questions he had and started off by telling him I wasn't a virgin.
He said, "As far as I am concerned, you were born the day we met. What you have done before we met has nothing to do with me." - I MARRIED AN ANGEL
DEAR ABBY: This afternoon, when the newsboy delivered our paper, my husband invited him in to tip him. I happened to be in the room, so my husband said to the boy, "Meet my wife - but don't laugh!"
Over the 40-some years we've been married, he's used this kind of introduction innumerable times, and everyone laughs. I do not think this kind of introduction is amusing and have told him time and again, to no avail.
Today, however, I felt that I had really had enough and I told him so. His defense: "You have no sense of humor."
Abby, how would you judge this? - HAD ENOUGH IN WISCONSIN
DEAR HAD ENOUGH: It's your husband who has no sense of humor. But that's not all he lacks; he also lacks sensitivity, compassion and respect for his wife of more than 40 years.
People sometimes laugh out of embarrassment, shock or the inappropriateness of a remark. Dear lady, if your husband has some positive qualities to offset the obvious negative ones, please rush them to me so I can sleep better tonight.
DEAR ABBY: This letter is in response to the poor beleaguered mailman who was embarrassed by the scantily clad housewives who try to entice him into the house with a cold (or hot) drink.
I really sympathize with him. Even though I am a retired letter carrier, I would make the supreme sacrifice to relinquish my retirement and take over his route. After all, what are friends for? - JOHN J. O'CONNELL, GLENDALE, ARIZ.
Everything you'll need to know about planning a wedding can be found in Abby's booklet, "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada), to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)