DEAR ABBY: I am writing in response to your advice to “Threatened in N.Y.,” who received an anonymous phone call that her husband was cheating. You advised her that it was probably a crank call. My comment is, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire!” She should insist that her husband take a lie detector test to resolve any doubts she might have.

My husband travels for business. I had been concerned about him possibly cheating, and we went to counseling, where he swore that he was faithful. I later learned that he’d been having an affair at the time and had another one after her. Even after I had proof of his affairs, he continued trying to lie about the extent of his infidelities. We are now in counseling, and he’s seeing a psychiatrist. – WISER NOW IN FULLERTON, CALIF.

DEAR WISER NOW: Your husband obviously has some serious issues, and you have my sympathy. However, I stand by my answer. I have received a bushel of mail regarding that letter, and less than 2 percent of it agrees with you. Read on:

DEAR ABBY: I, too, received an anonymous call about my husband’s “infidelity.” It was in the days before caller I.D. Each time, the woman left a sleazy message on my answering machine after midnight. However, I was lucky. My husband was known by a different name than the one listed in the phone directory, which indicated that the caller was lying.

I hope “Threatened” will take your advice. The person who called her is a misery-loves-company instigator who can’t stand to see a happy couple. My husband died a year later, and I thank God I didn’t ruin my short time with him by believing some sick tramp who made midnight phone calls. – BEEN THERE IN MARYLAND

DEAR ABBY: I am a member of the clergy. My wife got one of those phone calls. At the time, I was an official in the local union and was getting ready to go to a meeting when our phone rang. My wife answered, and all I could hear was her saying, “Oh, he is? Are you sure? You don’t mean that!” etc. When she hung up, she turned to me and said, “You won’t believe this. You’re in the back booth at the union hall making out with another woman.” Imagine the “kick” we got out of that. Please warn “Threatened” not to believe everything she hears. – REV. JIM IN INDIANA

DEAR ABBY: You were absolutely right that the call could have been made by a kid. Years ago, when most women were homemakers, I would look up names and numbers in the phone book, and when the woman would answer I’d say, “Is ‘Harry’ home?” When she replied that she was his wife, I’d say, “Oh! He never said he was married!” As a high school girl, I thought it was very funny. As an adult, I realize I could have caused irrevocable harm. – SORRY NOW IN BALTIC, CONN.

DEAR SORRY: Better late than never! Your letter was one of a stack of similar confessional letters on my desk piled 3 inches thick. When I was in high school, I heard a similar story about some students who did the same thing to an English teacher they disliked.

DEAR ABBY: A similar incident happened to me years ago. I trusted my husband enough to know it couldn’t be true, so I asked the caller to describe him – was he tall, short, dark or blond, skinny or heavy? And do you know what the caller did? She immediately hung up! – OPAL IN ROSEVILLE

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.

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