DEAR ABBY: I am 27 years old and pregnant with my second child. I remarried one year ago and couldn't wait to have my new husband's first baby. My problem is, I am not as excited about having this child as I was my first. Don't get me wrong, I love this baby, but I expected to be more "thrilled" -- and I'm not.
I also feel I am all alone in this pregnancy. Although he hasn't said it, I suspect my husband is repulsed by the amount of weight I have gained. (I am in my seventh month.) I am embarrassed to talk to my doctor about this for fear he will think I am a bad person.
Is there something wrong with me? Help! -- WORRIED MOM IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR WORRIED MOM: Needing support is not being a bad person. Your problem is that you have clammed up at the very time you should be speaking out. It is normal for a pregnant woman to have insecurities. It also is not uncommon for someone who has already had one pregnancy to feel less excited about her second. You should discuss these feelings with both your husband and your doctor.
Please don't worry. You will love your children in different ways -- but equally.
DEAR ABBY: I am 25 and a registered nurse. For three years I've been in a live-in relationship with "Herb." He is 10 years my senior.
I have a history of depression, anxiety and binge drinking. I turned to alcohol when I got depressed over my father's death from a massive heart attack five years ago. I also drink because of lack of love and compassion from my mate.
Herb is unemployed and spends most of his time in front of the computer. If I have so much as a cocktail to wind down after a 12-hour shift, he withholds affection. I feel isolated. I'm afraid he will become angry if I stop for a drink with my colleagues after work.
Herb never asks me how my day was. I know I have problems, but it would be nice to feel supported. He has been physically abusive on multiple occasions. Is there any hope for me, Abby? -- DOWN IN THE DEPTHS IN COLORADO
DEAR DOWN IN THE DEPTHS: Yes, there is. But first you must accept that you have a drinking problem and seek other avenues for resolving your depression. Speak to your doctor and get a referral for treatment.
That said, your drinking is no excuse for Herb to abuse you. Your life will improve as soon as you rid yourself of him.
DEAR ABBY: I am 21 and recently had a baby with "Danny," a guy I've never exactly dated, yet we continue to sleep together. He's gone through two girlfriends since I've known him, but he always comes back to me.
I love Danny, but I know the feeling is not mutual. Should I try to get over him and move on, or should I hang in with the man I love? -- WISHING AND HOPING IN DELAWARE
DEAR WISHING AND HOPING: Please see a counselor. You need to explore why you have allowed yourself to be treated so poorly. Since Danny has never given you any reason to think you are anything more than a nocturnal convenience, it is best that you move on. However, before you do so, consult a lawyer about establishing child support and visitation because Danny does not appear to be a person who will shoulder his obligations willingly.
CONFIDENTIAL TO "GUILTY AND ASHAMED": Please stop punishing yourself over a relationship that ended 50 years ago. Appreciate the fine husband you have and those who love you. If you can't let go, get counseling so you can fully enjoy the reality you have -- instead of grieving over a 1950s teenage fantasy.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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