DEAR ABBY: I was married to a man who ruled my every move. After years of torture and abuse, I finally became frightened enough to leave. Since then I have met a wonderful, caring, loving man who I wouldn't trade for the world. He treats me with kindness, respect and love. He makes me laugh and smile and appreciate life. I am allowed to be myself and function how I will. I am happier than I have ever been.
My question is, sometimes I miss my emotionally and physically abusive ex. I have no desire to be with him, but after all those years, it's hard to adjust some days.
Is something wrong with me? I would never leave my current relationship for my ex. I feel like I have found my soul mate. But these lingering thoughts trouble me. Am I normal? What do I do? I don't have a girlfriend to confide in. -- FOUND MY SOUL MATE
DEAR FOUND: I'm touched that you would confide in me. Yes, you are normal. Time has a way of dulling emotional pain, and with time we tend to gloss over unpleasantness. Your ex may not have been brutal and controlling all the time, and you are remembering the happier times.
I don't think that what you are missing has much to do with him. What you may be missing is the adrenaline rush you got from the drama.
DEAR ABBY: I had an inappropriate relationship with a senior officer at the firm where I work. It ended a year ago. I was married at the time -- I am now divorced -- and he is married.
Occasionally during the past year, he has made advances, but I rejected them. However, today his advances were persistent and almost demanding. For the first time, I felt a little threatened.
I don't want to cause trouble for him, his job and certainly not his family. But what do I do? I'd like to think he has gotten the message, but what if it continues? I like the guy; I'm just not interested anymore. -- DON'T WANT TROUBLE
DEAR DON'T WANT TROUBLE: It appears "Romeo" hasn't quite gotten the message, so it's time to make explicit your wishes in this matter. If he continues to persist, then you will have to report it to human resources.
DEAR ABBY: I have a great husband who has only one quirk. He often forgets to zip his fly. At home, who cares? But it happens in public too often and creates an uncomfortable scene when my friends are around.
Should I be hard on him, or just sympathize and keep my mouth shut? And what should I do when it's clear that he's the only one who doesn't know? -- JUST ZIP IT
DEAR JUST ZIP IT: Has your husband always forgotten to zip his fly, or is his forgetfulness something recent? If it is recent, and you have noticed other lapses in what should be automatic behavior, then it is time he had a neurological evaluation by a physician.
Because this happens with some frequency, work out a code with him to remind him his fly is open -- or take him aside and quietly point out that he needs to make an adjustment.
DEAR READERS: Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and no Thanksgiving would be complete without the traditional prayer penned by my dear mother:
Oh, Heavenly Father,
We thank Thee for food and remember the hungry.
We thank Thee for health and remember the sick.
We thank Thee for friends and remember the friendless.
We thank Thee for freedom and remember the enslaved.
May these remembrances stir us to service,
That Thy gifts to us may be used for others.
Have a safe and happy celebration, everyone! -- Love, ABBY
TO MY JEWISH READERS: At sundown the eight days of Hanukkah begin. I can't believe how early it has fallen this year. To all of you I wish a joyous Festival of Lights!
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)