DEAR ABBY: I recently started working at the hospital where my husband receives his primary care. One afternoon, out of curiosity, I accessed his medical records. In his file it was noted that he is high risk for STDs. In fact, he was treated for two different ones some years back.
I have been tested for STDs during all my annual physicals, and the results were always negative. I think it’s because we often go for weeks without any sexual contact.
What should I do with this information? How do I talk to him about it without letting him know that I’m aware of his medical history? — Concerned in Massachusetts
DEAR CONCERNED: Unless you claim to be clairvoyant, I don’t see how you can discuss this without admitting you accessed his medical records, which is against the law. Be prepared for him to be irate, because the best defense is a strong offense. You are lucky your husband hasn’t given you an STD.
By all means talk with him about this, if only to find out whether you have sex so infrequently because he’s having relations with other people. Now that you know what has been going on, you have some serious thinking to do about staying in this marriage.
Neighbor dating abusive boyfriend
DEAR ABBY: I had an abusive boyfriend who, I realized later, had abused his wife and children. After we broke up, my close friend and neighbor asked me if I’d mind if she went out with him. I initially said no, but after thinking about it, I thought how could she? She knew how he had treated me, pushing, shoving and isolating me from my friends.
I had words with her about it, and she said she wasn’t there, so she didn’t know if it really happened. What kind of a woman wouldn’t support me?
He is over there often, and I live right next door. I am furious with her. Do I have a right to be? — Alice in New Mexico
DEAR ALICE: Your friend must be desperate for male companionship, or incredibly naive in failing to recognize that what happened to you (and the man’s former wife) won’t also happen to her. Please don’t waste your time being angry. You are lucky to be rid of your abuser and should be grateful you realized he was one before he caused you physical harm.
Supportive of military wife
DEAR ABBY: A woman I know has a husband who is deployed. I would like to send her a card offering support and love, to tell her how thankful I am for both of their sacrifices in the service of our country.
Can you assist with wording and other ideas on how I can be supportive? She lives far away, so this will all be long distance. I don’t want to come across wrong or say something that could offend.
I ran across an article the other day on what NOT to say to military wives, and I’m afraid I may have committed a faux pas and don’t want to do it again. — Civilian in Iowa
DEAR CIVILIAN: If you think you “may” have committed a breach of etiquette, pick up the phone, call the woman and offer an apology. Explain that you read an article about what not to say to military wives, and hope you didn’t offend her. Offer to stay in touch — if that’s what she would like — so you can let her know she and her husband are in your thoughts, and let her suggest other ways you might be helpful even though you are geographically distant.