DEAR ABBY: For the past two years, I've been dating "Victor," a guy I'd been carrying a torch for since high school. He's everything any woman would want in a man. We're both 30 and neither of us had been married before. Vic moved in with me, and we plan on being married next year. I had never been so happy.
Five months ago my world fell apart. I received a phone call from a 19-year-old girl who claimed she is two months pregnant with Vic's twins. I was seven months pregnant at the time. (I've since had a healthy baby boy.)
Vic was at work when the call came in, and when he got home I calmly questioned him about this girl and her "news." He admitted everything. He said he'd been seeing her for a year and a half. I was shocked. I thought I couldn't be more depressed -- until Vic came home last night and asked me if it would be OK if he attended birthing classes with this girl. I angrily told him to go right ahead -- then later changed my mind and flat-out refused.
Abby, I am confused and beyond hurt. Please tell me how to handle this. It's a nightmare that won't go away. Keep in mind that we're supposed to be getting married -- although I'm leaning toward calling off the wedding. -- HURTING IN NEW ORLEANS
DEAR HURTING: Unless you, your son, Vic, his girlfriend and the twins plan to be one big, happy family -- call off the wedding. Not once in your letter did you indicate that your fiance was sorry about what happened.
In the meantime, there now will be three children to support. If you're smart, you'll talk to a lawyer TODAY to assure that the child you have with Vic will receive child support. Please don't wait. This man is untrustworthy and does not appear to be ready or willing to make a lifetime commitment to you.
DEAR ABBY: When getting an annulment or divorce, what is the length of time you have to be married before you may keep the wedding gifts? -- NEEDS TO KNOW IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
DEAR NEEDS TO KNOW: Cash gifts should be returned if the marriage lasted less than a year. If you have been married long enough to open and use the wedding gifts, then you should keep them. However, if they have not been used, are still in their original boxes, and the marriage didn't last more than one year, offer to return them to the givers.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 14-year-old girl with great friends. Sometimes I feel like I'm living the life of a college student. I have physical relationships with a lot of guys -- as well as my boyfriend. How can I get into a life where I feel like I'm more my age? -- ACTING OLDER IN SYRACUSE
DEAR ACTING OLDER: By recognizing that you're uncomfortable living in the fast lane, and writing to me, you have already taken the first step.
It's a misconception to think that all college students sleep around. They don't. If the teens in your circle of friends are doing it, then it's time you meet new people and channel your energy into new activities -- sports, theater, art, dance, etc.
But first, you must confide in an adult (ideally a parent) who can schedule a doctor's appointment so you can be checked for STDs and counseled about birth control.
I admire you for wanting to change what has become a destructive pattern. That is a sign of maturity.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)
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