DEAR ABBY: I am a professional counselor at a large, urban community college. I am greatly disturbed by the number of women with few marketable skills whose husbands have left them after several years of marriage.

Forgetting the moral issues involved, almost every woman has told me that either she was discouraged by her husband from obtaining meaningful employment, or she believed that the marriage would last forever and she would be well taken care of. In any event, few were prepared for more than a minimum-wage job that wouldn't even pay for child care.I emphasize this when talking to female students, but I might as well be talking to a brick wall. Abby, please encourage your readers, especially the young females, to realize that their marriage has a 50-50 chance of breaking up and that they should complete their educations BEFORE they have children so if their marriages fail, they can at least support themselves in a decent fashion. - FRED EMERLING, Ph.D., FRESNO CITY COLLEGE, FRESNO, CALIF.

DEAR DR. EMERLING: I have been harping on that theme for as long as I have been giving advice.

I repeat: Young women - LEARN A SKILL, so you will never have to ask your husband, your father, your boyfriend or your government to take care of you.

DEAR ABBY: I just had a minor argument with my brother. Several weeks ago, I lost my wallet. It contained the usual contents - credit cards, Social Security card, driver's license, I.D., etc., and $20 in bills.

Today, the wallet was mailed back to me. It contained everything but the $20. Believe me, I was thankful and satisfied, as it would have been very inconvenient to replace all of the cards.

My brother thought the person who returned it was dishonest to have kept the $20. I say just having it returned to me was well worth the $20. What do you say? - GRATEFUL IN PHOENIX

DEAR GRATEFUL: I'm with you. However, the person who returned the wallet may not have been the first person who found it. It's possible that another party found the wallet first, removed the $20 and discarded it. Then some Good Samaritan picked it up and sent it to you.

DEAR ABBY: Your suggestion to "Ruth" to take her 3-year-old, beautiful, bright, friendly and loud-talking daughter to an audiologist was good advice and brought forth a chuckle as well as a memory.

As a concerned father, I took my beautiful, bright, friendly 3-year-old to a hearing specialist who, after testing her, looked me in the eye and said, "You've just got a LOUD kid!"

Nineteen years later, my daughter, a Wellesley graduate, remains beautiful, bright, friendly - and loud! - HER DADDY IN TUCSON

To order Abby's booklet "How to Write Letters for All Occasions," send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada), to: Dear Abby, Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)