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Jeanne Phillips

DEAR ABBY: I may be having a midlife crisis. I'm not happy in my marriage and haven't been for quite some time. I recently kissed a co-worker. It was really hot, heavy and I want more. But I'm a coward. I don't know how to tell my husband I'm no longer in love with him. — COWARD IN THE SOUTH

DEAR COWARD: Not knowing you, I can't determine whether you may be having a midlife crisis. However, you definitely do need to talk to your husband, if only to ask if he feels the same emptiness that you do. It would be better for both of you if you tried counseling to see if it's possible to heal your marriage before you run out the door.

I caution you about involving yourself in a workplace romance while you are feeling this needy. If it doesn't work out — and most don't — you could find yourself without a husband and a job.

DEAR ABBY: I dated a man I'll call Mike for several years. We eventually broke up because of distance and a difference of opinion about where we wanted to live. I also had developed a crush on a female friend, which contributed to my decision to break off with him.

The crush didn't work out. Now, more than a year later, Mike and I are close friends. I visited him recently and realized I still have feelings for him. I want to get back together, but I don't think I should say it unless I am 100 percent certain I won't break up with him again.

Abby, I wonder if I might be gay. I don't know what to do. I love Mike, but I'm paranoid that I'll eventually regret getting back together with him. I couldn't betray his trust again. What should I do? — CONFUSED 20-SOMETHING

DEAR CONFUSED: You may be gay; you might also be bisexual or simply curious. You owe it to yourself AND TO MIKE to talk to a counselor and explore what your sexual orientation is. If you and Mike have worked through your other differences, only the two of you can decide whether to resume your relationship or just be friends. (Friendships have been known to sometimes last longer than romantic relationships.)

DEAR ABBY: My question is, is it ethical to "try" the fruit at the grocery store? I am amazed at the number of shoppers who open the bags of grapes and help themselves to a snack. Shouldn't they buy without sampling? — CRAIG IN FLORIDA

DEAR CRAIG: Theoretically, shoppers should buy without sampling. Talk to the manager of the grocery store about it. Some establishments leave a bag of grapes, cherries, etc. open for shoppers to sample to see if they would like to buy. If that's not happening in the store you patronize, consider suggesting it.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)