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12:44 AM Mon, Dec. 10th

Dear Abby | Man wrestles with coming clean about his infidelity

Dear Abby: I have been married to my wife for 10 years. We have two beautiful daughters and have always had a great relationship.

Last month I was invited to go on a trip overseas and was hesitant about asking my wife. Once I did, she immediately said yes and told me to have a good time on the trip. She recently chose a career in the military and is away from home now.

While I was in Europe, I had three affairs and, at the time, enjoyed them. But Abby, this is not the man I am! I always maintained that I’d never, ever do something like that, and I’m still in shock that I did. My excuse at the time was that I was used to having a woman around me, and that I was compensating for my wife’s absence. While that’s no excuse, I have been dealing with my guilt by shedding tears because I love my wife so much.

Should I tell her what I did? I know it will never happen again, and I don’t want her to resent me. Some people have told me not to say anything, while others say I should. What should I do? – Hurting Husband

Dear Hurting Husband: I don’t know how many people you have confided in about this besides me, but the larger the number, the greater the chances are of word getting back to your wife about what happened in Europe.

Because what happens in Europe doesn’t always stay in Europe, unlike Las Vegas, the first thing you should do is be tested for STDs to guarantee you didn’t bring an unwanted “souvenir” home with you. If you are clean, discuss this with your religious adviser, if you have one. Justify it however you may wish, but what you did in Europe was a moral failure.

Because of her military career, your wife may have to be absent for various periods of time. How would you feel if the situation was reversed and she had numerous affairs while she was gone? It may be time for both of you to recommit to each other if your marriage is to survive. And the place to start is to be honest with each other, but not while your wife is deployed.

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.