DEAR ABBY: I am so confused. Three months ago, I met and began dating a wonderful guy I'll call Jason. I hadn't been in a relationship in more than two years because my ex-husband molested my 6-year-old daughter, and it caused me to distrust men.
When Jason and I are together, he makes me feel not only beautiful, but special and important. Even though I've known him only a few months, my feelings for him are stronger than they've been for anyone.
The reason I'm mixed up is because when Jason and I are together, we have so much fun. But when he leaves, it's sometimes a week or even two weeks before I hear from him again.
When I call him, I get no answer. I always leave a message, but get no immediate call back. When Jason finally does call, his excuse is he went to New York to visit his mother.
I have made it clear how worried I get because he doesn't call to tell me he's leaving town. He also knows I become insecure when I can't reach him.
I'm at a point where I'm beginning to wonder if he is really going out of town to visit "Mother." I think he might be seeing someone else. (I have never been invited to his place.)
Should I give up on him or hang in there, Abby? And how can I be sure my fears and insecurities aren't due to my "trust issues" with men? -- UNSURE AND CONFUSED IN KNOXVILLE, TENN.
DEAR UNSURE AND CONFUSED: Your gentleman friend has a secret life he hasn't shared with you -- and I seriously doubt his mother has anything to do with it. Ask him to level with you -- and if he doesn't, let him go.
P.S. If you really think your fears and insecurities are a result of your trust issues, a few sessions with a professional counselor should put them in perspective.
DEAR ABBY: I have been married to "Ginny" for two happy years. My wife is the best. She's understanding, loving and, most of all, my best friend.
The only problem is her parents. Don't get me wrong, I love them dearly and have known these folks since I was 12. Ginny's dad has been my pastor a good portion of my life in our small town.
What bothers me is the fact that my in-laws won't let us fall down! Whenever Ginny and I are faced with any type of financial difficulty, her parents find out about it and insist on helping us. Well, it doesn't help.
I've tried to tell Ginny how important it is to live within our means. She just keeps on spending because she knows her mom and dad will bail us out.
Time after time, I've tried to politely refuse their offers of help, to no avail. They end up giving the money directly to Ginny. Abby, can you come up with some advice on what I can do? -- BOTHERED IN NEBRASKA
DEAR BOTHERED: Tell your in-laws they are endangering your marriage. As a man of God, your father-in-law should honor your request and not come between a husband and wife. Ginny is no longer a child, and she needs to understand that her parents won't always be there to "bail her out." I don't know what's causing these monetary crises, but the both of you might benefit from financial counseling.
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 $5 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)
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