DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married two wonderful years. I was recently in a serious car accident and am currently unable to drive. The person who mainly drives me around is my husband, but sometimes friends and family take me to my appointments or to run errands. Recently my husband announced that he will no longer take me to buy my birth control pills because he's ready to have a child and doesn't want to wait.
Since I am out of work, I have no money of my own and must rely solely on him for support. Because he is no longer willing to provide me with the funds to buy birth control, I am unable to ask anyone else to give me a ride to the pharmacy. When we have sex, he refuses to use protection.
Although I want children in the future, I do not feel ready to have any now. We married young and still have years ahead of us to get pregnant and be active parents.
Please tell me what to do. I'm afraid if I refuse to have a baby with him he will leave or, when I am ready, decide our time to start a family has passed. I love him and would do anything for him. Should I just give in, and is it really worth a fight? -- NOT QUITE READY IN COLORADO
DEAR NOT QUITE READY: You and your husband need professional mediation NOW. You should not be strong-armed into having a child, which is what your husband is attempting to do. Women who become pregnant under the circumstances you have described often feel trapped and resentful, which can negatively affect their ability to parent. If you were so seriously injured in the accident that you can't drive or work, it's questionable that you are even healthy enough to start a pregnancy.
What's happening is all wrong, and my alarm bells are blaring. If this is the way joint decisions are made in your marriage, there is real serious trouble ahead for you. So no, you should not just give in, and yes, it really is worth a fight -- or, at the very least, further discussion.
DEAR ABBY: My sister-in-law is in the process of losing weight. We're all very proud of her.
The problem is, whenever we are around her, she goes on and on about what she did or did not eat that day. She also gives us disapproving looks or makes unwelcome comments about what we are eating.
We have tried to gently change the subject, but it always goes back to food. Is there anything we can do or say to stop this without hurting her feelings? -- HUNGRY FOR ADVICE IN LONGVIEW, TEXAS
DEAR HUNGRY FOR ADVICE: When someone is dieting, her (or his) life is centered on food -- food that is allowed, food that is forbidden, etc. In fact, in many cases when people diet, they become more focused on and more obsessed with food than folks who are bingeing.
As long as your sister-in-law is dieting, she probably won't change. Only when she accepts that her new eating habits have become her lifestyle will food stop being uppermost in her thoughts.
Because her constant harping makes you uncomfortable, gently recommend that she join a weight-loss support group. There she will receive positive feedback from others who are experiencing her journey -- and with luck you'll be subjected to fewer of the details.