DEAR ABBY: I have been reading your articles for a long time, but I've never seen a problem like mine.

I've been married for 16 years. When I was married, I was 25 and my wife was 22. I was a virgin, but she wasn't. On our honeymoon she confessed that she had slept with four of her previous boyfriends. Now, every time we make love, I wonder who she's thinking of - and who she's comparing me with.It also bothers me during the daytime when my co-workers talk about who's fooling around, because I wonder if they know about my wife's past.

Abby, please urge your readers to abstain from sex until marriage, because the most important gift a person can give a spouse is virginity.

How do others deal with this? I have forgiven my wife, but I am still haunted by her past sins. - STILL BOTHERED

DEAR BOTHERED: You can't rewrite history, so don't dwell on the past. Not to belittle the value of virginity, but one who is not able to give a spouse that very special gift is not necessarily a bad person. A far greater gift would be a lifetime of devotion.

DEAR ABBY: A reader wanted to know why joggers and runners run in the streets instead of on sidewalks. The reasons are varied: There may not be a sidewalk; the sidewalk may not be continuous; the sidewalk may be in poor repair, blocked by low branches, made hazardous by drivers who don't slow down when backing out of driveways, or be occupied by other pedestrians or small children playing. The sidewalk may be concrete, whereas the street may be blacktop - and therefore a softer surface upon which to run.

As for runners who run at night, those branches overhanging the sidewalks can be even more hazardous at night when they are obscured by the darkness than in the daytime when they are just an inconvenience.

If those who choose to run for aerobic exercise are to live in harmony with motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians, these suggestions should keep everyone safe and happy:

Runners should run on sidewalks or designated pathways whenever possible. They should always remember to wear bright or reflective pieces of clothing, always run on the left-hand side of the road in order to see oncoming traffic that's on the same side, always cross at corners and obey other traffic and pedestrian laws, and always carry identification. - RUNNING SAFE IN DOWNER'S GROVE

DEAR RUNNING SAFE: Thank you for some useful tips for runners. According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, walkers and joggers should always FACE oncoming traffic. Carrying identification is also important. A reader wrote to relate the tragedy of a loved one who was killed by a hit-and-run driver. And because he carried no identification, he remained unidentified until the bureau of missing persons located him in the county morgue.

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