DEAR ABBY: I have a girlfriend at work I’ll call “Crystal.” I think she’s cheating with “John,” a co-worker who is married. Crystal was going to be married in the fall, but now the wedding is off. She says that she and John are “just friends.” But the way it looks to me, they are a lot more than that.

I see Crystal and John in the parking lot after work. He sits in the driver’s seat, and she sticks half her body through the car window to kiss him goodbye. They also go “out to lunch” every day. When I ask her if she’d like to have lunch with me, she lies and says she’s staying in – then I see them in the parking lot and she’s all over him.

I’ve tried talking to Crystal about John, but she gets defensive. I think he convinced her not to get married. This isn’t the first time he’s been involved with a co- worker. How can I tell Crystal she shouldn’t waste her time with a married man? – WORRIED IN ILLINOIS

Love is blind, and sometimes also deaf to the voice of reason. In your case, it is already too late to reason with Crystal. If a co-worker who had an earlier fling with John would be willing to share her experience with Crystal, it might wake her up – but I’m not betting on it. Some lessons must be learned the hard way, and when a workplace romance fizzles and reality hits, it’s a cold awakening. (Clip this, give it to her, and tell her this message is for her – from both of us.)

DEAR ABBY: My fiancee, “Charlene,” and I plan to marry this fall. We couldn’t be happier and eagerly anticipate spending our lives together. However, the wedding planning is causing tension in our families.

Charlene and I are recent college grads, struggling to pay off student loans. We are unable to afford a large, lavish wedding. After discussing this at length, we realized that neither of us wanted a big wedding in the first place. We prefer a quiet, intimate gathering, and a small ceremony would suit us both.

Our problem is, Charlene and I feel we must accommodate our large families who want to attend our wedding. We’re afraid that if we don’t invite everyone on both sides, feelings will be hurt.

How do we arrange for the perfect small wedding of our dreams without disappointing our extended family members? – TRYING TO KEEP THE PEACE IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST

Limit your wedding to parents, grandparents and siblings. As long as no exceptions are made, there should be no hard feelings among the extended family members.

P.S. Consider celebrating with friends and other relatives by hosting an open house a few weeks after your wedding. It needn’t be anything formal – you could serve wine and/or punch, a few simple homemade hors d’oeuvres and something sweet.

DEAR ABBY: I am a single mother of two boys. My oldest is 21 with a wife and baby. They live here in town. My youngest is a junior in high school and lives with me.

Recently, because he’s out of work, I helped my older son by paying his $600 rent. My younger son has a part-time job and should have money of his own, but he usually blows it and never seems to have a dime.

What’s bothering me is that neither of my sons did anything for me on Mother’s Day. No card, no phone call, no “Happy Mother’s Day” – nothing! I feel angry, hurt and awful. And I don’t know what to do with these feelings. What, if anything, should I say to them? – MISERABLE MOM IN TUCSON

Tell your thoughtless, self- centered sons exactly what you have written to me. They need to hear it. Your feelings are valid.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: “Abby’s Favorite Recipes” and “More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby.” Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $10 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby – Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447.

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