DEAR ABBY: Our daughter, "Adrienne," is 20 and not very sociable. She doesn't have many friends.
Almost every time my wife and I go out to eat or go away for the weekend, my wife insists on taking Adrienne along because she doesn't want to leave her home.
Abby, our daughter should be out with friends -- not her parents. I would like to spend some time alone with my wife. How do you feel about this situation? -- FRUSTRATED IN LONG ISLAND
DEAR FRUSTRATED: Your daughter is no longer a child; she's a young woman now. There is no reason why a 20-year-old cannot spend weekends at home without parental supervision. By insisting that Adrienne be consistently present when you go out to dinner or away on trips, your wife is discouraging intimacy with you and preventing her daughter from developing independence. As long as Adrienne is encouraged to lean on you for entertainment, she'll be less likely to forge friendships with contemporaries. Perhaps counseling will help to give her more confidence socially.
DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Jamie," died earlier this year. My teen-age son, "Jamie Jr.," wants his father's military records. When I found them, I was shocked. Jamie got an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army, but he also appeared before a board of inquiry for striking an officer.
Jamie never disclosed this to me or any of his family. It would have been a disgrace. Jamie and our son had a very close relationship, and I don't want Jamie Jr. to be disillusioned and ashamed of his father now.
I am tempted to "lose" these records. What do you think? -- SURPRISED WIFE IN OKLAHOMA CITY
DEAR SURPRISED WIFE: Give your son his father's military records. If you do, I can't help feeling your son will gain even more respect for his father. This is an excellent example of how people can change and grow, even though they may have made mistakes when they were younger.
DEAR ABBY: I have been dating the sweetest man for about three months. "Danny" leaves me loving notes, draws me pictures, massages my back, and even makes my bed when I'm in the shower. He is without a doubt the most thoughtful man I've ever been with, and I have fallen for him hard.
There is one problem: Danny doesn't make much money. He works hard in his field, but it's either feast or famine.
I, on the other hand, earn a very substantial salary. I have been afraid to share this fact with Danny for several reasons. One, my career intimidated my previous boyfriend, and I don't want that to happen again. And, two, I'm very private about my assets anyway.
Abby, should I keep my income a secret from Danny, or is that considered "lying"? Can a relationship work between a man and woman who are miles apart on the income scale -- especially when the woman is the richer of the two? -- CONFUSED YOUNG WOMAN IN LOVE
DEAR CONFUSED: If Danny hasn't asked, I see no reason to discuss your finances prematurely. Yes, a relationship like yours can work. But only if the qualities each person brings to the relationship are considered equally important.
Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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