DEAR ABBY: I have been dating "Chad" for three years. About a year ago I had sex with a couple of other guys. I immediately confessed to Chad and told him how sorry I was for hurting him. He forgave me and told me he had lied to me about touching the strippers at his brother's bachelor party earlier that year.
Now Chad says that because of my mistakes he wants to be free to be with other girls while still dating me. This includes making out, sex, and anything that a steady couple would do. He told me I can do the same, and he only wants his freedom to ensure that I am the one for him. I don't want to do it because I already know that he's the one for me.
Chad says if I don't allow him to do what he wants, I am being a hypocrite, and he needs to see for himself that I'm the one he wants. Yet he also says he would want to see others regardless of what I did. I don't want to leave him, but I don't want to share him, either. What should I make of this? -- LOVES CHAD IN PEORIA
DEAR LOVES CHAD: Make of this that your boyfriend has wild oats to sow, and he no longer wants an exclusive relationship. This young man is not ready to settle down, and he also isn't sure that you're the woman for him. That's a pretty strong message. So, sad as it may be, pack your emotional bags and move on.
DEAR ABBY: I am almost 12. I have skipped a grade, so I'm in grade seven. I read your column every day. Abby, I am NOT one of those girls who "show off" their body, or already have a boyfriend. But I do have a problem. In my opinion, my chest is too big.
I have talked to my mother about this. She says there is nothing wrong with it: "Theirs will be like yours also." My mum and grandmum like buying me clothes, but I am ashamed to wear them -- not because of their style, but because they make my chest seem as big as it is.
Please answer this. I have asked everyone I thought I could ask, but none answered helpfully. Don't get me wrong; I am healthy and everything -- I'm just fed up. -- BIG PROBLEM, HAIFA, ISRAEL
DEAR BIG PROBLEM: Talk to your mother and grandmother again. Although they are proud of the fact that you are developing a womanly figure, they need to understand that you will need some "transition time" to accept the changes that are happening to you. With that in mind, they should accommodate you by helping you to find looser-fitting, less-revealing clothing that you feel comfortable wearing until your classmates catch up with you.
DEAR ABBY: What should I do about a dysfunctional family -- my dear brother and his three-ring circus? His wife never cleans their house; my mother does it when she can. The children, all under 16, are unsupervised and misbehave terribly. The 7-year-old has breathing problems and surgery is pending. She's being home-schooled by my sister-in-law, who has only a sixth- or seventh-grade education. The child is also grossly overweight.
My brother is unwilling to stand up to his wife, who threatens suicide. He refuses to talk to his clergyman or to a counselor. What can I do to intervene? I'm worried about those children. -- WORRIED IN TENNESSEE
DEAR WORRIED: I'm concerned, too. Pick up the phone and call Childhelp USA. The toll-free phone number is (800) 422-4453. Childhelp USA believes it is important to create hope for all children who suffer abuse and neglect, and they can put you in touch with services in your own state that can look into this matter.
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: "Abby's Favorite Recipes" and "More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $10 (U.S. funds)
to: Dear Abby -- Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in price.)