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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: "Adam" and I have been married for one year. Prior to our marriage, we lived in separate apartments. Adam had two cats, I had three, and together we bought a dog. Now that we're married and living together, the pet population in our household is overwhelming. I have conveyed my frustration about this to my husband many times.

Well, four months ago, Adam decided to get another dog! I strongly objected, but he brought it home anyway, promising to take care of it 100 percent by himself. Instead, he lies on the couch watching TV and pays no attention to the new puppy, which isn't housebroken. He refuses to take either dog for walks, bathe them or clean the dog run. He says he doesn't like them outside because they destroy the yard (which he takes care of)!

Meanwhile, our house -- which is my responsibility -- is being destroyed. I can't relax with all the chasing and romping that goes on.

Abby, I'm now four months pregnant, and I'm concerned about our baby's safety with so many untrained animals around. We both work full time, and lately Adam's been working on weekends, too. I have proposed that we each keep our favorite pet and find homes for the rest, but Adam won't hear of it. Please help me. -- PET-PEEVED, MARTINEZ, CALIF.

DEAR PET-PEEVED: Insist that the animals be retrained to live outdoors, or find homes for them before the baby arrives. Your peace of mind and your baby's safety come first.

DEAR ABBY: I am a gay man in my mid-20s. I have known that I am gay for as long as I can remember. It is only recently that I have started to accept it. The catch is that I have a girlfriend.

We have been best friends since we were kids, and have tried a serious romantic relationship several times. She is aware of my past struggles in dealing with my sexuality, but she believes we have gotten past it (because I led her to believe that). It was not easy on her before, and I'm sure it won't be easy a second time.

I know she truly loves me and wants to be with me the rest of our lives. I love her, too, and can't imagine her not being a part of my life, but as much as I want to, I cannot make my feelings cross over into the realm of romance -- because I'm gay.

Abby, I want to have a house, kids, a station wagon and a family dog. If I stay in this relationship, I'm sure I can have these things and maybe in time I will learn to be content. However, I'm wondering if maybe I should be honest with her -- and everyone else. I hesitate because she's been through so much already, and I don't want to lose my best friend.

Abby, how can I tell her without losing her? -- LIVING A LIE

DEAR LIVING A LIE: You may be able to tolerate living a lie, but it's unfair to everyone with whom you are involved. Show your girlfriend this letter and tell her that you wrote it.

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-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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