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MELODRAMATIC SERIAL SHOULD BE CANCELED, NOT RENEWED
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend of 10 years, "Scott," and I separated last year. I was pregnant and hormonal at the time, and told him we would never get back together. We went a month without contact, then reconnected.While Scott was in the process of working things out with me, he had a girlfriend. He made it seem like not a big deal, but apparently it was more serious. He told her she was the love of his life and he didn't want to lose her, etc. When our daughter was born five months later, he told me he was done with the other woman. ...
PARENTS WITH STRONG BELIEFS WON'T VISIT COHABITATING COUPLE
DEAR ABBY: Our amazing daughters are in their late 20s. Both of them are independent, intelligent and loving. The four of us have a special bond. My wife and I have always been supportive in all aspects of our daughters' lives, and that will never change.They have been dating great guys over the past five years whom we believe they will ultimately marry. The problem? My wife and I were raised with certain values, and our daughters have recently moved in with their boyfriends. We do not approve, but respect their decisions as adults. ...
WOMAN'S PRINCE CHARMING HAS ABANDONED THE MAGIC WORDS
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I both have professional careers and are independent. We have been in a committed relationship for eight years now. When we first met, I wasn't looking to be in a relationship. He pulled all the stops to get me to date him. He was attentive, complimentary, dinner dates, movies, etc. He was the first to say "I love you." Prince Charming had nothing on him.When he knew I had finally fallen for him, the chase was over and everything came to a screeching halt. No more dates, no more I-love-yous. Everything he did to get me to fall in love with him stopped. ...
PRAYER CAN TURN TO PANIC DURING RESTAURANT OUTINGS
DEAR ABBY: I'm comfortable with my faith and pray before a meal at home and at friends' houses. We have become friendly with individuals from our church, and on many occasions have gone out to eat together at restaurants. When the meal is brought out, it has become a custom to pray. I feel uncomfortable praying aloud in public, and have seen others at our table already eating when someone says, "Let's pray."My wife tells me to just go with it. But sometimes when the praying goes on for a lengthy time, I start to get sweaty and on the verge of a panic attack. ...
BOSS'S UNWELCOME ADVANCES MAKE FIRST JOB UNCOMFORTABLE
DEAR ABBY: I'm 16 and just got my first job working in food services. I have been working here for about two months, and have grown close with my co-worker "Samantha" and my boss. Samantha quit suddenly a few days ago. Today she told me our boss had told her he had strong feelings for her. He's married with kids.I am now very uncomfortable being there, but I still want to continue working for the experience and to save money for college. I'm not sure what to do. I haven't even told my parents yet. ...
SPEEDY DIAGNOSIS IS ESSENTIAL FOR TREATMENT OF LYME DISEASE
DEAR ABBY: May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. I'm a longtime Canadian reader who has suffered from it for many years. More than 300,000 people are infected by this tick-borne illness every year, yet people know little about it. If someone doesn't recognize the symptoms and seek treatment immediately, Lyme disease becomes chronic and debilitating. For many years it wasn't well understood, and many sufferers like me have gone from doctor to doctor with their long list of symptoms, becoming increasingly frightened and depressed. ...
LIFE OF CONTENTMENT DOESN'T SEEM NORMAL BY COMPARISON
DEAR ABBY: I'm 45, employed and earning plenty of money. I'm in a great relationship, my kids and grandkids are healthy and happy, and my parents are alive and well. I enjoy the small things in life, fishing, reading, the beach, mini vacations, bowling, etc. I raise funds to feed the homeless.So what's my problem, you ask? Abby, I'm not really sure what my purpose is in life or if the way my life is, is normal. I feel content -- even happy at times -- but I'm troubled because it seems a lot of people do the exact opposite of what I am doing and they all have a purpose. ...
MOM WITH SECRET ADDICTION IS PLAYING DANGEROUS GAME
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 17-year-old girl and I caught my mom sniffing nail polish remover. She obviously doesn't want me to know because she tries to hide it. I don't know what to do. I don't know why she would want to do this. It's something people my age would do. I know better than to do that. Should I talk to her about it? She'll probably make up some excuse like she likes the smell. She sometimes tells me I need to grow up because I can act silly. But honestly, she is the one who needs to grow up.I want to help her because I know what she's doing is not good for her. ...
DESPONDENT HUSBAND WANTS TO BREAK CYCLE OF CHEATING
DEAR ABBY: I have been married twice. My first marriage lasted 20 years, the second one about four years. During my first marriage, I started cheating seven months after our wedding. My wife knew about some of the affairs and stuck with me anyway. I finally felt so guilty for hurting her emotionally, I called it quits and married the last woman I cheated on her with. My second marriage was in many ways better. I was able to remain faithful for more than three years before cheating again. ...
BROTHER WITH REPEAT OFFENSES DOESN'T MERIT SISTER'S SUPPORT
DEAR ABBY: My brother is older than I am and has been in and out of prison. He has stolen my things and pawned them.I am married, and my husband and I are expecting our first child. We live in a time zone several hours behind the one my family is in. I am now receiving phone calls at 4 o'clock in the morning from collection agencies on the hunt for my brother. He has been writing bad checks and leaving my phone number as a contact number.I have managed to determine who his probation officer is, and I'm on the fence about whether I should tell her what he is up to. ...
NONSTOP TALKERS TAKE A TOLL ON THOSE STUCK LISTENING
DEAR ABBY: I have noticed that some people in my age group (60s) are becoming compulsive talkers. These people don't ask questions of those around them. When someone begins to speak, the compulsive talker interrupts, usually in a louder voice and returns to dominating the conversation. Some of them continue to ramble on even when no one is listening anymore.I tire quickly when I'm around these marathon talkers, but I'm too polite to interrupt them. It wouldn't do any good anyway, because they seem unable to stop. ...
TRAUMA IN TEEN'S PAST IS A SECRET SHE SHOULD KEEP
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 16-year-old girl, just starting to dip my toes into the dating scene. It's not that I haven't wanted a boyfriend in the past, but I live in a rural area where options are few. I am becoming close with a guy who lives near me, and I care a lot about him. Therein lies the problem. We're getting to the point where we are finding out everything about each other. I love learning things about him, and I want to share myself entirely with him.Lately we have been talking about the past. To make a long story short, my childhood was traumatic. ...
TIMING IS RIGHT FOR PLASTIC SURGERY, BUT PARENTS OBJECT
DEAR ABBY: I am 23 years old, working full-time as a teacher and I'm about to move out of my parents' house. I have decided to have breast augmentation surgery, and I know the best time to do it would be this summer so I'll have time to recover before school starts. The problem is my parents are adamantly against my having this surgery. I've heard it all: "I wish you loved your body the way it is." "That's so superficial," and "You'll regret it!"I would wait until I move out, but my new place (which is being built) won't be finished until the end of the school year. ...
RESENTMENT IS THE THANKS MOM GETS FOR HELPING SON'S FAMILY
DEAR ABBY: My son, "Rick," and daughter-in-law, "Amy," seem to really dislike me. I try to be kind and not pry, but they live with me and it can make for a full house. They have had job difficulties and work injuries that brought them back to my home. Her parents don't care for my son, so living there was not an option.Amy does not help at all with the housework. Rick does most of it. They also have a wonderful 21-month-old boy. A second baby is on the way. They have lived with me for four years now.Abby, Amy shows no respect for my home or for me. ...
GIRL WHO LOST HER VIRGINITY MUST LEARN TO PROTECT HERSELF
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 17-year-old girl. Last weekend I lost my virginity in the back seat of a stranger's car. I feel guilty about it and I haven't told anyone. I'm not sure if he has.I need some advice on whether I should be making a big deal out of it, or just ignore it and move on. -- ANXIOUS IN OHIODEAR ANXIOUS: Please don't ignore it. You treated your first time like it was something casual, and that is sad. It is a "big deal," not only because of what it indicates about your level of self-esteem, but also because you don't know whether you have been exposed to an STD. ...
READERS HAVE STRONG VIEWS ON CLAIMING SEATS IN CHURCH
DEAR ABBY: May I comment on your response to "Got Here First in Pennsylvania" (Jan. 7), who asked whether someone sitting at the end of a church pew should move if someone comes and says it's his or her "favorite seat"?There are many reasons why people remain sitting at the end of a pew: an allergy to perfumes can be overwhelming if you're sitting in the middle of a row; claustrophobia; weak bladder; physical limitations; the need for more leg room; and the need to use the armrest to stand up and sit down. The early bird does get the worm and shouldn't be expected to give it to latecomers. ...
WOMAN'S EXPLOSIVE BOYFRIEND MUST LEARN TO CONTROL HIS FUSE
DEAR ABBY: I have known "Dean" for 10 years. We have been living together for two. Since the beginning, he has struggled with depression, anxiety and anger issues. Occasionally he has explosive episodes where he'll throw things and punch or kick inanimate objects. Recently things escalated. He was angry with himself after getting angry with me for disturbing his "process" while making dinner, and he threw a potted plant across the room.I'm not an idiot. I know these are serious issues. Every friend or family member of mine who knows him believes he's a good guy deep down. ...
FRIEND REGRETS OFFER TO ROOM WITH WOMAN GETTING DIVORCE
DEAR ABBY: My best friend is going through a divorce and has moved back in with her parents, who are driving her crazy. She doesn't have enough money to live on her own, so I offered to have her move in with me.The more I think about it, the more I regret having said it. I enjoy living by myself. Also, she wants us to move to an area of the city that I don't care to live in. In addition, she has a male friend who is also going through a divorce and I dislike him. They spend a lot of time together, and I don't want to be around him. ...
EXCITEMENT OVER PREGNANCY IS DULLED BY HUSBAND'S RESTRAINT
DEAR ABBY: I have just found out I'm 10 weeks pregnant. Both sets of parents are overjoyed -- it's their first grandchild -- and I'm happy because this was the plan all along. My husband wants kids, and this is our first baby.My husband isn't the kind to wear his heart on his sleeve. I have tried to involve him in appointments and classes, but he seems uninterested. He has expressed no emotions, even when he saw our first sonogram. It makes me feel sad and lonely. When I ask him if he is happy about the pregnancy, he says yes, but it's hard to tell. ...
FRIEND'S FOOD CRITICISM IS HARD FOR COUPLE TO SWALLOW
DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have a friend, "Jonah," whom we love dearly, but he has no filter. He's college-educated, has a white-collar job and is over 50. The problem is, anytime we invite him for dinner or take food items to his house, he makes horrible remarks about my wife's cooking, particularly when it's a holiday party based on my wife's Slavic heritage.My wife is a really good cook. No one else makes fun of these foods, many of which are common in the U.S., but Jonah makes negative comments every time. I have told him that it's rude, and so has my wife. ...
GIRL'S EMBARRASSMENT IS SIGNAL IT'S TIME FOR A SHAVING LESSON
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are having a disagreement about one of our daughters (we have three). Our 8-year-old is very hairy. It is noticeable, and she doesn't like wearing shorts, skirts or dresses because of it. Her classmates tease her about it.I want to teach her how to shave her legs or show her how to use hair remover. Her father is angry that I want to "do this" to his little girl. I was a hairy child as well, and I was teased about my hairy legs and my unibrow, which my parents wouldn't let me shave or pluck. ...
SEXUALLY ACTIVE WOMEN MUST BE VIGILANT ABOUT PROTECTION
DEAR ABBY: I'm writing to warn as many other young women as I can about the dangers of unprotected sex. I thought I had met the man of my dreams. I knew from the beginning he had a girlfriend in his hometown, but he assured me he was breaking it off, so I didn't think twice about starting a relationship.Well, she moved here and found out about us. He swore to me that there was no one else besides her and me. We have now discovered a third girl -- his roommate -- with whom he was involved.Abby, he used no protection with any of us. ...
HUSBAND'S FAMILY MEETINGS LEAVE WIFE OUT OF THE LOOP
DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Rory," and I both come from close families. Whenever something is wrong, troublesome, etc., in either of our families, we have meetings where the entire immediate family comes together to discuss the issue.The problem is, I am not invited to his! It's not like I'm a recent addition to this family. Rory and I dated for 15 years before getting married. My family started inviting him to our meetings after we had dated for a year, including discussions about my dad losing his job, my brother's stint in rehab and more. ...
FRIENDLY DIVORCE MAY BE BEST FOR WIFE IN UNHAPPY MARRIAGE
DEAR ABBY: I'm 38, married for 16 years and the mother of two small children. I was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer and had a hysterectomy to remove it.My husband has cheated more than once in the past, and since my recovery I have realized I never forgave him for it. I kept quiet and pretended I didn't know. Now I am bitter, angry and hurt. He goes out and stays out constantly. He does help with the kids, but I know I don't belong here. I know what I want, and it's not this life with him anymore. ...
MOM THREATENS TO FIGHT SON'S SILENCE WITH SILENCE OF HER OWN
DEAR ABBY: My 34-year-old, single, independent son completely ignores me. He won't answer texts, emails, postal mail or phone calls. Weeks and months go by with no meaningful conversation between us. I am sick of it, and tired of being treated so disrespectfully. I thought I had raised my son to be more thoughtful of others, especially his mother.I'm ready to put an end to my misery by ignoring him back and "forgetting" holidays. That may not seem motherly, but I'm weary of trying to get him to be more responsive. ...
PREGNANT TEEN WEIGHS BEST OPTIONS FOR HER BABY'S FUTURE
DEAR ABBY: I have had a very strained relationship with my father for many years. My mother and I are not close because she was incarcerated for most of my life until recently. I am 16 now, and just found out I'm pregnant. No one knows except the father of my child. For some reason, he is thrilled for us. I, on the other hand, am terrified of the uncertainties.I know what my father will say. He will want me to get an abortion, but I would never choose that for myself or for my baby. My mother is struggling since she was released from prison and is still trying to get on her feet. ...
MOTHER OF FIVE TESTS LIMITS OF COUSIN'S ABILITY TO HELP
DEAR ABBY: My cousin "Opal" and I grew up together. We were always close. She has gone through some rough times, and I have been trying to help her out. She has five children (ages 10 to 2) and I have one child who is 13. The fathers of her children are not helpful. I recently completed my education and am looking for work, so money is tight. Opal doesn't feed her kids before bringing them over or provide diapers for the little one. She promises to reimburse me, but rarely does. Most of the time I keep my mouth shut because I know she doesn't make much as a server. ...
FAVORITE UNCLE REVEALS HIMSELF WITH A SHOCKING SEXT MESSAGE
DEAR ABBY: I am heartbroken. I have an uncle "Tony" I'm close to, who is like my best friend. I was sending him pictures of a football game and he sent me back a very inappropriate picture of himself. He says it was a "mistake," that it was supposed to go to his wife, but the text message he sent with it showed different. I don't want to be around him. I'm disgusted and hurt over this. I need advice. What do I do? -- HEARTBROKEN IN GEORGIADEAR HEARTBROKEN: Share the photo and texts with your parents and ask what they think about them. ...
FATHER'S NOISY LOVEMAKING IS PAIN TO DAUGHTER'S EARS
DEAR ABBY: I'm the mother of an 18-year-old daughter. Her dad and I are divorced and she lives with him. We were married 20 years and I know he's a good parent, except for one thing. My daughter has told me her father and his partner sometimes engage in very loud lovemaking when she's in her room, and it embarrasses her. She's shy to begin with, so she hasn't said anything to him.I feel angry and frustrated because I don't know if I should say something to him about it. I have suggested she put on some loud music or use headphones if she can't bring this up with him. ...
MAN WHO DOESN'T WANT KIDS SHOULD LOOK FOR ANOTHER WOMAN
DEAR ABBY: When I turned 25, after considering it for years, I went to my doctor and told him I wanted to become sterile. I got a vasectomy two months later. I haven't had any regrets, and now at 27, I'm still firmly convinced that I don't want children -- ever.I started dating a woman a year ago, "Anita," who told me that if she never had kids, she could live with it. I felt lucky to have found someone who would be OK with no kids.I have had a few issues with Anita. When she gets upset from time to time, she says that if she stays with me, she will never have kids. ...