DEAR READERS: I am stepping away from the "Ask Amy" column for a week. I hope you enjoy these hand-picked "best of" columns in my absence.
DEAR AMY: I've been sexually involved with an "unhappily" married man. I love him deeply, and he tells me he loves me.
Due to my daughter's interference, his wife found out about us and obtained a restraining order on me.
I've contested it, and he is begging me not to show up to court because the story will come out.
I don't want to lose him. He says he'll work out ways to see me.
I just don't know what to do. -- In Love and Confused (2005)
DEAR CONFUSED: And people wonder why our court system is so backed up.
If there is a restraining order against you, then your choices are to comply, contest or violate it.
If you contest it, you risk exposing this story. If you violate it, you could end up in jail. Your boyfriend seems willing to have you risk jail time rather than risk face time with his wife.
What a weasel.
FYI, I looked up "weasel" in the dictionary and learned that a weasel feeds on mice and rats, and is able to suck out the contents of an egg without destroying its shell. A weasel is sly, cunning and sneaky.
Of course, you sound like something of a weasel too. Under other circumstances, this might have been a match made in heaven, but as it is, you need to find another hobby.
DEAR AMY: I am a 32-year-old woman. About a year ago I met a wonderful man. He is kind and compassionate and very supportive. I have yet to tell my family about this romance, because this man is part of it. Part of my family, that is. He is my third cousin. We are related only through marriage. He has proposed to me, and I would love to spend the rest of my life with him.
However, I do not think my family would understand.
I love him and can't bear the thought of being without him. I do not think I could get married without my family's support.
I hate lying to my family and want to go about this the right way.
Please help! -- Family Trouble (2004)
DEAR TROUBLE: I might be missing a sensitive bit of information here that is preventing me from understanding why this is such a dramatic scenario for you.
Let's review: He's wonderful. You adore him. He's asked you to marry him.
Please don't tell me that the fact that he is very distantly related by marriage to you is the source of your distress. Do you realize that Prince Charles is probably as closely related to you as your third cousin by marriage is?
The beauty here is that you don't have to break the bad news to your family that you are betrothed to Prince Charles. You get to say the following: "Family, I have great news! I'm so happy! I'm getting married to the most wonderful man!"
The worst thing you've done here is to act ashamed of this relationship. It's time to hold your head up and share your joy with your folks.