DEAR ABBY: A new single pastor was assigned to my church. He asked if I was single and if I had kids. I told him no, and we began having an affair.
For two years, it was all in secret. Then I began noticing that a single lady from his previous church would visit. He told me she was concerned about him being alone, so she was stopping by on her way through.
Well, I now 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 it. They got married in secret, and he didn’t tell the church until afterward. Everyone was shocked because he talked so much about being an open book and being truthful. I was and still am in shock. I love my church, but I hate my pastor. Should I leave?
— HURTING IN SECRET
DEAR HURTING: I smell a rat, and it’s coming from the pulpit. Your pastor misrepresented himself. His affair with you was, to say the least, unethical and should be discussed with the governing board of your church. You were taken advantage of. One of you should leave.
DEAR ABBY: I have been having some emotional turmoil. I’m feeling depressed and hopeless. I know I need to tell my parents, but I’m too scared. I’m afraid they will brush it off or blame me. It’s really affecting my life. Please give me some advice on how to break the news.
— GIRL WITH A PROBLEM IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR GIRL: Many people are experiencing feelings similar to the ones you are. The worst thing you can do is keep them to yourself. Be brave. Tell your parents about your depression and turmoil. If they are disbelieving, confide in a teacher or the parent of a close friend so they can advise your parents on getting you professional help if it is necessary. My thoughts are with you, and I hope you feel better soon.
— ANDREWS MCMEEL