DEAR ABBY: I have finally met the man I have been waiting for. I began working here 10 months ago, and from the day I walked in and saw my boss, I knew he and I were meant to be together.

We began an intense physical relationship two weeks after I was hired. We had lunch and talked on the phone every day. Then suddenly, about a month later, he stopped having anything to do with me personally and started keeping his distance at work.

I still believed with all my heart that he was the man for me. I waited and waited. I knew he would come back to me – and after six months he did! For the last four months he has been showering me with attention. I am completely in love with this man, but there are days at work when he doesn’t speak to me. He contends that all is still good between us.

I am an attractive woman and almost every man at work has asked me out. Could my boss be stringing me along just to have bragging rights with the guys? Am I just a toy for him? A trophy, if you will. Could he be using me?

Please don’t print my name or location. This is a small town, and anyone who sees my letter would know it is me. – JANE DOE, ANYWHERE, U.S.A.

The kind of attraction you have described is hard to conceal, and the men at work may have picked up on the “electricity” between you and your boss. That might also account for the fact that almost every one of your male co-workers has asked you out.

Let me suggest this: One of you may have confused advances with advancement. If you’re not the love of HIS life, and he has, indeed, been using you – you may have one heck of a harassment claim. I’m holding a good thought for the both of you, but whether you’re a toy, a trophy, a convenience, or the love of your boss’s life remains to be seen.

DEAR ABBY: I was married for 18 years when my niece, “Gwen,” announced at a family cookout on Mother’s Day that she and my husband, “Budd,” were having an affair. We have since divorced and they have married.

I have done all I can to accept this; however, it is very hard to do. I am very angry. I hate the fact that Gwen comes to my home every day to pick up my four children. I have asked Budd to make other arrangements so I don’t have to have contact with Gwen, but they refuse to cooperate. They say I am being childish and unreasonable.

I have been going to counseling and was told to “let it go” and “get over it.” Please tell me how. – HAD IT IN PENNSYLVANIA

What happened was a betrayal – and the way you found out was brutal, ugly and humiliating. However, for your children’s sake, you must take the high road and move on with your life. The alternative is to cut yourself off from the rest of your family at the time you most need their support. When your children are older, they will understand the terrible situation you were placed in and how courageously you handled it.

It is also important that you take time for yourself and become socially involved again. It will distract you from your problems. You deserve to be happy, too.

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.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby – Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447.

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