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DEAR ABBY: I'm a supervisor at my job and have feelings for a married man who also works here. He's lonely and looks to me for attention, companionship, sex and to listen to his troubles. We have only had sex once, but I know I cannot continue this relationship.

It breaks my heart because I care for him deeply, and if he was single, this is someone I could actually have a relationship with. I have already told him I won't accept any more of his offers to walk me home, and to quit texting me. He's open with his wife regarding dating other people. It seems she's also talking to another man outside of their marriage.

Am I delusional to think he will leave her for me? Would he have the same problems with me that he has with her? He has difficulty expressing his emotions, but I think he still loves his wife. I know their marriage is broken, and it's not my job to fix it for them or to push him to choose me over her. It should not have to be this way.

Please, I would appreciate any advice you can offer. By the way, I'm also married, but my husband lives 7,000 miles away. After seven years, his immigration status still needs to be resolved. I'll probably ask him for a divorce because, even though I care about him, I'm no longer in love with the man I married. He knows I have been dating someone because I told him. — IN KNOTS IN NEW YORK

DEAR IN KNOTS: You didn't mention whether there are policies in your business about fraternizing, but if there are, then what you have been doing could get you fired. You have already started disengaging from this office romance, so please continue to do that.

Because of the unique circumstances of your marriage, you have some serious decisions to make. Do not drag your co-worker into it. If there is the possibility of a future with him, he also needs to decide if he is satisfied with the status quo before making any other commitments. I know you are lonely, but for your sake and his, back off.

DEAR ABBY: My husband of more than 20 years has taken to hiding decorative accessories that he doesn't like. An example: A designer bowl set packaged in a box suddenly disappeared from the cupboard. The plug-in air freshener from my home office also went missing. A lamp I moved from the living room to the foyer appeared on my bookcase two hours later. My complaints fall on deaf ears. His favorite coffee mug and iPad are about to mysteriously vanish. Can you talk some sense into him? — HIDE AND SEEK IN GEORGIA

DEAR HIDE: Is this recent behavior, or has your husband been hiding things all during your marriage? If it's recent, your husband may need a medical checkup, because what you are describing can be a symptom of dementia. If he's mentally fit, you two need to work on sharpening your communication skills and, perhaps, agree that before any more items are brought into the home the two of you share, they're not something either of you will hate.

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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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Jeanne Phillips
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