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Revelation of affair clouds present, future

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have known each other for 25 years. We married five years ago. At that time, I was making 500-mile round trips twice a month to visit my children from my first marriage. I was, and still am, crazy about her.

However, two years ago, my wife admitted to a long-term romantic affair with a married man who has two children. She also admitted that she was waiting for him to leave his wife, and that he was waiting for her to leave me before moving in and eventually moving away together, and perhaps marrying.

Shortly after this came out, she became critically ill. She requires 24-hour care, and I have been at her side, monitoring her health and taking her blood pressure. She flatlined once at the hospital, and if I hadn’t been in the room at the time, she would have died.

My wife refuses to give me any details about the affair. There have been signs that she may still be in touch with him, and I think his wife should know. She becomes hysterical at that suggestion, which raises her blood pressure dangerously high. I feel trapped. I fear that if I leave her, she would have no one to care for her and might die. What do you advise? – Deep in the Drama in California

DEAR DEEP: You are no more trapped than you wish to be. There can be no marriage without trust. If your wife were truly contrite about her affair, she would tell you everything. Because you think she may still be in contact with her lover, and in light of the fact that she refuses to come clean, discuss this with an attorney who can explain to you what your responsibilities would be if you were to divorce her after five years of marriage. You should not be forced to be her caregiver under these circumstances.

DEAR ABBY: My 11-year-old grandson, “Lucas,” and I are very close. His mother (my daughter) allowed me to have him any time I wanted. I would even take him on vacation with me. When he was going into first grade, his mom informed me she was going into rehab, so he started living with me. Lucas is now in sixth grade and back living with his mom.

My daughter has two other boys and lives with their father. Lucas’ dad is not in his life. I have always been there for him. She isn’t a bad mom, but Lucas doesn’t like living with her. My daughter now plans to move 40 minutes away and transfer Lucas to a new school. I’m very worried for him. I’m the reason he has a social life. He has been in Boy Scouts with the same boys for five years. What am I to do? Let him go? – Beside Myself in South Carolina

DEAR BESIDE MYSELF: Unless you can convince your daughter to agree to allow Lucas to stay with you so he can remain socially active with his peer group, I think you have no choice but to let him go. Sixth and seventh grades are a difficult time for a child to start a new school because cliques have usually formed by then. You are a caring grandparent, and I wish you luck. Start campaigning now.

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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.