DEAR ABBY: I am being married in a few months. Ted is 20 and I am 22. He tells me he has "no past," and refuses to discuss it.
From what I hear from his friends, Ted has tried everything in his 20 years of life -- drugs, sex, alcohol, wild parties. They say he has talked about numerous one-night stands without protection, and that he was even involved in group sex with eight other guys and one female. (Again, without protection.) For all I know, he may even be a father. He also refuses to be checked for STDs.
Am I right for wanting to know how many sexual partners Ted has had? I am still a virgin. When I try to talk to him about this he clams up. Can I trust him? -- JITTERY IN JACKSONVILLE
DEAR JITTERY: Absolutely not. Your intuition is warning you. Anyone, male or female, who has had even one unprotected sexual contact should be tested for STDs. If what his friends are saying is true, your fiance is reckless and immature. He has exposed himself to diseases that could destroy your ability to have children -- or even kill you. I urge you to discuss this with your doctor. I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is that you know your fiance's health status before this goes any further. You have a right to that information.
DEAR ABBY: My mother passed away five years ago. I have a table and chairs that belonged to my grandparents that were given to me by Mom before her death. (They meant a great deal to her.)
Because the set was passed down to me, must I keep it? The base of the table is still good -- but would it be blasphemous to remove the top and replace it?
The same goes for the chairs. They're in bad shape. Should I go to the expense of having them repaired and refinished -- or is it OK to get rid of them? And if I do, what can I tell any family member who asks? Thanks, Abby. -- TRASH-OR-TREASURE IN THE TWIN CITIES
DEAR T-OR-T: Stop feeling guilty. Since you do not like or want the "heirlooms," offer them to other family members who might like to have them and restore them. One man's trash is another man's treasure (and vice versa).
DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Hank," and I are in our late 20s and have been married five years. We have two children. On the surface everything is great; however, our marriage is falling apart because of my husband's addiction to pay-per-view pornographic movies. Hank doesn't understand why the $600 he spent on these dirty movies over the past year has affected me. Our sex life has dwindled to almost nothing, which makes me feel inadequate as a wife. We're also trying to save money for a house.
I cringe each month when I open the cable bill -- and each month we have the same discussion that goes nowhere. Tonight I told Hank if he continues his habit it would end our marriage. He said, "Whatever. I'm not having this conversation now." What can I do, Abby? -- HAD IT WITH HANK
DEAR HAD IT: Encourage your husband to accompany you to marriage counseling -- and hope that he will "open up." As things stand, your marriage is dying. He has substituted movies for a real relationship with you. Unless a compromise can be worked out, you will both remain unhappy.
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 $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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