DEAR ABBY: I have been married to "Andrew" for four years. It's my second marriage and his third. Two months after our wedding, Andrew was diagnosed with colon cancer. I stood by his side and supported him even though his family did not help me.
Andrew was in remission for three years, during which he was abusive physically, mentally and emotionally. I wanted to take my children and leave -- but six months ago he was diagnosed with liver cancer. I couldn't leave him alone at a time like that, so I decided to stay.
Since then, Andrew has twice threatened to kill himself and take me with him. I'm scared, but I'm afraid to leave him alone because he is my husband. He wants nothing to do with counseling.
During one of his appointments, I learned that he had hepatitis and didn't tell me. (I have since had myself and the children checked, and we are fine.) I no longer trust Andrew, and I'm afraid to sleep at night. My children now live with my mother, who is not far away. He has done many other things to make me not trust him any longer. His family is no help. Should I stay and continue to be supportive? Please help me. -- EXHAUSTED AND SLEEPLESS IN LA
DEAR EXHAUSTED: Schedule an appointment with your husband's doctor and tell him or her what you have told me. Other arrangements should be made for his care. He appears to be mentally unbalanced, and he could attempt to carry out his threat. Unless you are willing to risk your children being left with no mother, you will do this for their sakes, not to mention your own.
DEAR ABBY: I have been in a new clerical job for only a few weeks. I type a lot of handwritten drafts for my computer-illiterate boss. While typing, I have noticed that the grammar he uses for in-house correspondence is less than stellar. I correct small mistakes where necessary, but I'm uncomfortable with changing sentence structure or reshaping paragraphs, although my boss's writing could benefit from it. If I could edit as I please, his correspondence would be more concise and easier to read.
Should I bother to correct his mistakes, aside from spelling and verb tense? The public doesn't see any of this, and everyone here is already aware of his writing style. What will make him look worse -- poor grammar, or a sudden, inexplicable improvement that seemed to arrive with his new secretary? What will make me look worse -- letting this slide, or appearing uppity?
Also, if I should be reworking his drafts, how should I broach the subject of asking permission to do so? He's very casual as far as bosses go, but I don't want to cause embarrassment by pointing out that I have stronger writing skills. -- GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT: I see nothing uppity or embarrassing in saying to an employer that English grammar is your strong suit and asking if he would mind if you rework his correspondence -- as long as he reviews any draft before it is sent out. Bosses usually value employees who make them look better than they actually are.
DEAR ABBY: Would you please give me your definition of maturity? Thank you in advance. -- WONDERING IN WOODBURY
DEAR WONDERING: Maturity is the ability to control our impulses, to think beyond the moment, and consider how our words and our actions will affect ourselves and others before we act.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS, and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)