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by Abigail Van Buren

Full Time Mama's Boy Is Not Ready for Marriage

DEAR ABBY: I'm concerned about my relationship with my fiance (I'll call him Stan). We are both 20 years old and have very different views on life. Stan is employed part time and is satisfied with that.

I need someone in my life who can help me financially, emotionally and physically. I don't want a man who has no career goals. Stan and I were supposed to move into an apartment together. Now that's been put on hold.

Stan's mom does everything for him, and he doesn't want to move away from home. When we plan to do something, we have to work around his mother's schedule because he is also her chauffeur. If I were to marry Stan, I would gain a horrible mother-in-law. I don't think she is very fond of me, either.

Stan is so in love with me, and the idea that we'll always be together, that if I tell him it's over, he will be crushed.

Our relationship is at a point that I have sought sexual fulfillment elsewhere. My friends tell me that if he doesn't know about the other men it won't hurt him. Should I continue to be dishonest with Stan, or what? Abby, please help me. I desperately need your advice. -- IN OVER MY HEAD IN TACOMA

DEAR IN: Your fiance appears to be far from ready to take on the responsibilities of marriage. Level with Stan -- I assure you, his mother will comfort him.

This should be a learning experience for both of you, and in the future, before you make a commitment, be absolutely certain that you and the young man want the same things from marriage.

DEAR ABBY: I am the grandmother of a 6-year-old boy who lives with me. I have a problem I am certain is shared by a number of people, and I have a solution to offer.

It is very uncomfortable for a parent, grandparent or other caretaker to allow a child to go into a public restroom without supervision. For young boys accompanied by a woman, or little girls accompanied by a man, the use of a restroom for members of the opposite sex after the age of 7 or 8 is difficult for all involved. There needs to be an alternative.

As a former teacher and counselor for people with handicaps, I've been told of situations where someone has been unable to go to some public places because the person accompanying them (i.e., a spouse) could not use the same restroom. With all the talk of accessibility for the handicapped, to my knowledge, this problem still remains unaddressed.

It would be helpful if public places provided unisex restrooms for the handicapped and children under the age of 12 who are accompanied by an adult of the opposite gender. -- THE REV. VIRGINIA L. ANDERSON, ONEIDA, N.Y.

DEAR VIRGINIA ANDERSON: That's an idea worth noting for those planning business and public facilities, but to modify existing theaters, malls, stadiums and businesses could be cost-prohibitive.

By the age of 6 or 7, your grandson should be able to use a public restroom without being accompanied by an adult. Most people are understanding if a young child or person with a disability is accompanied in a restroom.

Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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