DEAR ABBY: I am a 16-year-old high school student and have been going with my girlfriend, "Maddie," for two years. We go to different schools, and lately trust has become a big issue.
She thinks I am cheating, which I am not -- but she won't get off my case. We constantly fight about little things. She calls me at home and hits the roof if I'm not there when she thinks I should be.
Last week, she gave me an ultimatum: Drop out of sports or she'll drop me. Abby, this is my senior year. This is my last year of playing. I don't want to quit. I love Maddie, but I'm not sure she has the right to give me such an ultimatum. I don't know what to do. Please help me out. -- "CENTER" OF CONTROVERSY
DEAR "CENTER": Please don't give up sports in order to assuage your girlfriend's insecurities. A person who loves you wouldn't demand such a sacrifice. If you give in, you'll regret it in years to come. Ask yourself: What will she demand next?
No one should issue an ultimatum unless she (or he) is prepared to lose. In this case, it appears your girlfriend fumbled the ball. Her demand is out of bounds. Ignore it.
DEAR ABBY: I recently learned that my husband of four years, "John," is talking with another woman on his cell phone at work. She constantly leaves him voicemail messages, telling him about her day and how she misses him. (One in particular keeps going through my mind: "Baby, it's me! It's a few minutes before 10 and you're not answering your cell phone. Maybe you're sleeping already, but I'll give you a call tomorrow on my lunch break.")
The next time she called, she heard my voice on his voicemail saying, "Sorry, my husband, John, is not available at this time. Please leave a message and someone will return your call as soon as possible." Can you believe that woman actually left another message, saying, "John, you need to take her voice off, because it's not you!"
I'm not dealing with this very well. My self-esteem is falling, and my husband refuses to address the problem. I don't know what to do. I can't seek help, because I don't have any money of my own. -- NEEDS AN ANSWER IN MIAMI
DEAR NEEDS AN ANSWER: Here's a message in MY voice. Something is missing here. What's missing is a husband who is contrite and wants to save his marriage. Stop being a victim. Talk to a lawyer, and when the lawyer mentions payment, give him (or her) your husband's credit card number.
DEAR ABBY: My soon-to-be ex-husband, "Fred," and I are in a custody battle over our 10-year-old daughter, "Jen." A while ago, Fred tried to choke me to death, and Jen confided to me last week that she overheard him say he was going to kill me. I told my attorney and the DA's office. They've asked Jen to swear what she said is true.
Because Jen told, she is now afraid of her father. I want to help my daughter through this traumatic time. Do you think counseling will help her to overcome her fear? -- PROTECTIVE MOM IN MARYLAND
DEAR PROTECTIVE MOM: It's certainly a step in the right direction! However, since Jen's father appears to be volatile, and possibly homicidal, any visits she has with her father should be supervised to ensure that he cannot, in a fit of temper, harm HER. Please discuss this with your lawyer.
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