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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I am 18 years old, married and seven months pregnant with our first child.

Recently, my husband and I got into a fight about my 3-year-old son. He was the result of a rape. I put him up for adoption, and I keep in contact with his parents through the agency.

The first Christmas after my son's birth, his parents sent me a locket and a picture to put in it. Since then, I have never taken this locket off, because it is the only thing I have with his picture that I can keep close to my heart.

My husband thinks I shouldn't wear the locket because he feels that when our daughter gets older, she may resent my wearing it. He also thinks I will be unable to love our child as much as I love my son. I fear that I may fail to be a good mother to our daughter because I couldn't be to my son.

I also worry about the future. How will my daughter react when she learns I gave her half-brother up for adoption three years before she was born?

Abby, how can I make my husband understand about the locket? Also, how can I overcome my fears? -- TOO YOUNG TO BE THIS OLD IN LAS VEGAS

DEAR TOO YOUNG: Your husband is being unreasonable. If I had to hazard a guess, I would say it's because the necklace is a constant reminder that he wasn't the first man in your life.

You are a sensitive and loving young woman, and I'm sure you will be a terrific mother. If your daughter questions you about why you had to give up her half-brother, tell her that when the child was born, you were too young to keep him and raise him properly -- so you saw to it that the baby would have two loving parents who could. No one can fault you for that. It was the courageous, selfless and right thing to do.

Rape crisis counseling may help you and your husband deal with this in a healthy way. I urge you both to make an appointment -- just pick up the phone and ask the operator for the rape hotline.

DEAR ABBY: I'm 17 and have just ended a relationship that lasted seven months. I was a virgin until this relationship. When we began dating, I told "Todd" I wanted to wait for sex until I trusted him and felt I loved him.

The time did come when I trusted him and felt I loved him, so I decided to sleep with him. That's when things started going downhill. A month later, he told me he was sick of me.

Abby, I feel so hurt and used. Now I'm starting to view sex negatively. I know I'm young and have years of relationships ahead of me, but now I wonder if all men are only after sex. If so, it wouldn't be worth it. -- YOUNG, HURT AND CONFUSED

DEAR YOUNG: Many young men -- and some older men -- are more interested in the challenge than in a lasting relationship. However, not all males are alike.

Don't give up on men because of one bad experience. Give yourself and the young men you date time to mature before making a decision to have sex again. Love takes time to grow and it also takes time to discern whether the commitment is likely to be long-lasting. Once you are certain about that, you can begin giving careful consideration to whether a sexual relationship is what you want.

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-size, 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, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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