DEAR ABBY: My heart is broken. I am a 21-year-old college student. Today was supposed to be my wedding day. My twin sister, "Diana," my ex-fiance, "John," and I were always very close. John and I have dated since high school. Last week, Diana told me she is three months pregnant with John's baby. She said that when I was studying for exams, she and John had a one-time fling while both of them were drunk. The two people I am closest to in the world have betrayed me. I no longer speak to either one.
I plan to return to college to finish my senior year. Do you think I can ever repair these relationships? Should I forgive John and marry him? Please help me. -- UNHAPPY IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR UNHAPPY: Can you repair these relationships? Possibly, with the passage of time. Should you marry John? Not unless you want your niece or nephew to also be your stepdaughter or stepson. That's a lot to swallow, but only time will tell -- lots and lots of time. In the meantime, enjoy your senior year. Participate in school activities and work on expanding your circle of friends.
DEAR ABBY: I am a college freshman in a city six hours from home. I miss my family, but I've been fortunate to have already made some wonderful new friends.
Lately, however, I've been concerned about the way I feel mentally, so I made a list of my feelings and behaviors that cause me concern. I then explored the Internet for advice. A number of credible Web sites indicate that my symptoms could be linked to clinical depression.
This has me worried. I don't want my new friends to think I'm "weird." Also, my parents are old-fashioned and could very well insist I return home.
Above all, I don't want anyone to overreact. This is all based on my own suspicions. Sometimes I get scared that something may happen to me because I didn't seek help. Who should I turn to, Abby? -- DEPRESSED STUDENT (NO LOCATION, PLEASE)
DEAR DEPRESSED STUDENT: The student health center on your campus is the place to express your concerns. Many first-year college students become anxious in their new surroundings when faced with academic challenges. If you suspect that you have a problem that requires counseling or medication, you are wise to face it squarely and not put it off. Depression is a disease. It is treatable and curable, and those who have it are not weird, so please don't wait.
DEAR ABBY: I am only 13, but I have a big problem. I love both of my parents, but I don't like the way my dad treats my mom. Dad drinks a lot and abuses Mom. Not by hitting, but with words. Mom wants to leave, but she doesn't want to break up our family.
Lately, my older brothers are beginning to copy Dad. They mouth off at Mom and it makes me angry. I don't know how to help my parents without hurting one or the other. They both need help, but Dad refuses to get it. What can I do? -- ANGRY DAUGHTER/SISTER IN KANSAS
DEAR ANGRY DAUGHTER: Remind your mother that words can hurt as much as physical blows, and your brothers are already imitating their father's behavior.
Ask your mother how she will feel when her sons marry and abuse THEIR wives. Deep in her heart she knows that the time to put an end to this cycle is now. Continue encouraging your mother to do what she knows she should -- leave your abusive father for the sake of her children.
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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