DEAR ABBY: While I was away from home for three weeks visiting my sick father, my husband (I'll call him Dan) had a fling with a woman he met in a bar. Well, he got her pregnant. She's married, but has been separated from her husband for four months, so there's no chance the baby is his.
Abby, Dan hardly knows this woman. He was only with her four or five times. He offered to pay for an abortion, but she refused, saying she's 36 years old, has always wanted a child, and her biological clock is running out. She's no airhead - she's a legal secretary.I don't know whether to file for divorce or not. This is all so ironic, Abby. Dan and I have been married for 10 years - I'm 35 and he's 39 - and we've been trying to have a child for the last three years without success.
He's begging for forgiveness, but I'm not sure I can handle his fathering a child with someone else. Meanwhile, his affair will cost him child support until the child reaches legal age. What a price to pay for a fling!
Maybe I'm bonkers, but I still love the guy. Please tell me what to do. - TROUBLED IN TORONTO
DEAR TROUBLED: If you still love the guy, don't file for divorce. You can always file later, if, after serious deliberation, that's what you really want to do. Dan should consult an attorney if he hasn't already done so, and everyone involved should seek counseling. You need to sort out your feelings rationally.
DEAR ABBY: In 1986 my son was married in the local Methodist church. We were not members, so we paid $350 for the use of the church. My brother-in-law is a minister, so he officiated. However, my son was required to give the regular minister a gratuity of $75, even though he had no part in the ceremony.
It is now 1989, and our daughter is getting married in the same church. The price for using the church is now $380. Her uncle will again perform the ceremony. She was told that she must place a crisp $100 bill in a white envelope as a gratuity for the regular minister who will not participate in the ceremony.
Is this normal practice? Must newlyweds pay twice for ceremonies if they choose to have a friend or relative from another church officiate?
The price continues to climb, and we have one more child yet to be married. Paying two ministers seems unreasonable to me. Please don't use my name or town. I don't want to make trouble for my daughter. - RIPPED OFF, I THINK
DEAR RIPPED OFF: I spoke with some leaders of the regional office of the United Methodist Council and was told that no minister has a set fee for performing a marriage ceremony - the couple voluntarily gives him or her a gratuity of their own choosing.
You should contact the regional office of the United Methodist Council in your area. They will appreciate knowing that you were ripped off - and by whom.