He left her high and dry; now wants second chance

DEAR ABBY: I was divorced for 10 years, and am now remarried. Four months after we said "I do," my first husband left me (on Valentine's Day!) without a word.

It was out of character for him not to come home, and I was so worried I reported him to the police as a missing person. If that wasn't enough, he left me owing the power and water bills, and our rent was three months behind. A few weeks later, he sent me an email. It read: "Don't bother me. I'm fine. Move on!" I was trying to do exactly that when, a month later, he knocked on my door, asking me to forgive him. I thought I had, but it still bothers me.

My ex is now begging me to give him a second chance. He has changed so much for the good, and he says he has never been with anyone more than two weeks because they can't live up to me. I have always loved him. He had a drinking problem, but he has been clean and sober now for nine years.

I'm not really happy with my second husband. I haven't been for a long time, and now I have someone I have always loved who wants me back, and I don't know what to do. Please help.

- Confounded in North Carolina

DEAR CONFOUNDED: I'm sorry you didn't describe what has gone wrong in your second marriage because if it's fixable, you promised to love and honor your current husband until ... well, you know the drill. It would be a mistake to throw him aside without first trying to fix the problem.

Your first husband treated you with brutal disregard. If he has changed, he wouldn't be trying to break up your marriage. Be warned.

A stupid comment

DEAR ABBY: I have been going through some tough times during the last few months. I have handled them as well as I can, but something just pushed me over the edge.

I'm not formally educated. I have no college education. I graduated from high school, but I was home-schooled and people tend to not take me seriously when they find that out. I opted out of college because I couldn't afford the loans. I love to learn and have continued to educate myself.

But today, someone I respected told me I'm not as smart as he is because I never went to college. He outright called me stupid and said I should stop pretending to be intelligent.

Abby, I am skilled with my hands. I own my own business and spend most of my time reading on various topics. When I told him his comment hurt me, he laughed and said that just proved I wasn't as intelligent as he is. I know he's not right, but I can't stop thinking about it. Can you help me?

- Street smart in Alaska

DEAR STREET SMART: Gladly! The individual you were talking to isn't intelligent; he is a classless boor who tries to make himself feel superior by putting down the people around him.

If you are as smart as you say you are, you will avoid him as though he has an infectious social disease. It's true, because cruelty can be contagious.

Some sage advice

DEAR ABBY: Many years ago, in a "Farmer's Almanac," I read a saying so profound and succinct, I have never forgotten it. I thought one day I should send it to you. Well, with everything that's been happening in Hollywood and beyond, this is the time.

It goes, "If you don't want anyone to know about it, don't DO it!"

- Faithful reader in Carmel, N.Y.

DEAR READER: AMEN to that!