Dear Abby: Pastor having an affair keeps his engagement a secret

DEAR ABBY: A new single pastor has been assigned to my church. He asked me if I was single and if I had children. I told her no and we started having an affair.

For two years, everything was in secret. Then I started to notice that only one lady from her previous church was going to visit her. He told me that she was concerned that he was alone, so she stopped along the way.

Well, now I know she was more than that. While he was having his affair with me, he was engaged to her. When I confronted him, he denied. They got married in secret, and he didn’t tell the church about it until after. Everyone was shocked because he was talking so much about being an open book and being honest. I was and still am in shock. I love my church, but I hate my pastor. Should I go? – INJURY IN SECRET

DEAR HURTING: I smell a rat, and it comes from the pulpit. Your pastor presented himself badly. His affair with you was unethical to say the least and should be discussed with your church board. You took advantage of it. One of you should go.

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DEAR ABBY: I endured an arduous ten-year marriage, followed by a nasty divorce and custody battle. This was followed by years of contentious child rearing with my ex. With my now adult children, I am free to spend my money as I wish and have absolute freedom. I live alone and frankly I love my life. I am 100% sure that I want to stay single.

When people ask me to remarry, I tell them “never again”, and I really mean it. Yet inevitably people say, “You never know, you might get married again someday.” Abby, I know. It’s been over 20 years.

I used to be bored, but now I just blew it up. Do you have a line that doesn’t sound rude? I thought about saying, “I guess you know me better than I know myself,” but that sounds sarcastic. – BEFUDDLED IN FLORIDA

DEAR BEFUDDLED: If not answering the questions no longer works for you, try this: Smile at the person and say, “This would involve TWO consenting people, and I’m not receptive.” But thank you for that kind thought. And then change the subject.

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DEAR ABBY: I had emotional disturbances. I feel depressed and hopeless. I know I have to tell my parents, but I’m too scared. I’m afraid they’ll do it or blame me. It really affects my life. Please give me some advice on how to report the news. – GIRL WITH A PROBLEM IN NORTH CAROLINA

DEAR DAUGHTER: Many people have feelings similar to the ones you have. The worst thing you can do is keep them to yourself. Be brave. Talk to your parents about your depression and your troubles. If they don’t believe, confide in a teacher or the parent of a close friend so they can advise your parents to get professional help if necessary. My thoughts are with you and I hope you will feel better soon.

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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 PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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