DEAR ABBY: I have been engaged to "Zack" for three years, but I don't know if I should marry him. My family has never approved of him, and they have put second thoughts into my head.
Zack has been in prison for the last two years and wants us to be married as soon as he gets out, which will be in another three years.
When I read his letters or visit him, he scares me. Prison has changed Zack so much I hardly recognize him anymore. Since he has been incarcerated, he's been on anti-psychotic drugs and anti-depressants and sees a therapist every month. He has become almost obsessive toward me. He says things like he will be with me "for all eternity" and "till death do us part," and, "If you ever leave me, I will kill myself."
He does not know about my doubts. Should I tell him? Should I break the engagement? Should I marry him? I have so many questions. Zack is not the same guy I fell in love with years ago, and I don't know what to do. -- LACKING CONVICTION IN TEXAS
DEAR LACKING: This is a decision only you can make. Your fiance is not the only one who has changed -- you have changed, too.
Please bear in mind that this man wouldn't be on anti-psychotic medication if he didn't have serious mental problems. Life doesn't always deal us the hand we want, but we are all responsible for our own lives and our own survival. Threatening suicide to force you to stay in the relationship is a classic form of manipulation.
If you're going to break the engagement, do it NOW -- while he has access to a psychotherapist and he is somewhere where he cannot act out on impulse.
DEAR ABBY: I have known I was gay since I was a young girl. My family was very close-minded, so I never told them. In an attempt to be "normal," I married a nice man and had four children. However, I was miserable and divorced him several years ago.
I have since met a wonderful woman. Her name is "Beth" and we're very much in love. She has been "out" for 12 years and her family is comfortable with her sexual orientation. I told my mother that Beth and I are moving in together, and surprisingly, she is very understanding. My grown children are also fine about it, but I don't know what to tell my other family members -- especially my grandparents. They will see this as a failure on their part.
Should I just not tell them? -- KATY IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR KATY: If you think they can't handle an announcement from you, then don't make one. Live your own life. They may catch on eventually.
P.S. You may also find that they really like your partner and they're not as naive as you think.
DEAR ABBY: What do you think about a husband who would send a naked picture of his wife to another couple over the Internet? That's what happened to me, and I found out about it purely by accident.
My husband didn't lie to me about it -- he simply didn't tell me at all! Is this a person you would trust? -- FURIOUS IN YOUNGSTOWN, OHIO
DEAR FURIOUS: Certainly not. Your husband is either extremely immature or he's soliciting the other couple in an attempt at an "open" marriage. He owes you a complete explanation as well as a heartfelt apology for exposing you.
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