DEAR ABBY: I recently became engaged to a man I thought was the salt of the earth. Then I moved in with him. Well, he's not the man I thought he was. I now know that almost everything he has told me is a lie.
He's 12 years older than he said. He never went to college like he claimed. He told me he was sterile, but I discovered he has four children. He pays child support for two of them who are very young, so he'll be obligated for a long time. His parents are both living -- not dead like he told me -- and he's not an only child; he has two brothers who live across the country.
My mind is spinning. We're supposed to be married in three months. I'm seriously thinking about breaking the engagement and moving out, but I still love him. Should I stick it out and hope for the best, or listen to my gut? --SECOND THOUGHTS IN INDIANA
DEAR SECOND THOUGHTS: Listen to your gut. Leave now and cut your losses. Your fiance either has a lot to hide or he's a compulsive liar. Solid relationships are built on a foundation of trust, and your fiance has proven to you many times over that you can't believe a word he says.
DEAR ABBY: My dream is to go to college and major in either English literature or child psychology. However, I'm wondering if I should, because no one in my family has gone to college and I'm the third youngest. I don't want to look too ambitious or put a damper on my older sisters' and brothers' lives. I'm afraid they might say to themselves, "I am worthless. I didn't go to college."
Should I aim for college or not? I'm only in ninth grade and would appreciate some good advice. -- DEPRESSED ABOUT THE FUTURE, WENATCHEE, WASH.
DEAR DEPRESSED: Since your dream is to complete your education, then you should go for it. Do not let the fear of what your siblings "might" think stop you. They have chosen the paths they have taken. I'm sure your family will be proud that you were the first to get a college degree. And who knows? If you complete your education, it may inspire some of them to do the same.
DEAR ABBY: My sister is in eighth grade. We ride the same bus. She has been coming home very upset because she's getting picked on while on the school bus. There are many kids doing it, and it happens every day. She has done nothing to cause this.
My parents say I should stick up for her because I'm her older brother. I went and sat with her -- and they are vicious to her. When I defended her, they started harassing me.
One kid wanted to fight me, but I am bigger than all of them, and I don't want to get kicked off the bus. Also, I can't do this for her every day. If we tell the bus driver, it will only get worse. Please help, Abby! -- BIG BROTHER, STANWOOD, WASH.
DEAR BIG BROTHER: Do not stay silent and protect the guilty. By ignoring what's going on, the bus driver is as guilty as your sister's tormentors. Report it to the principal of the school. If it isn't stopped, your parents should report the harassment to the school board -- and if that doesn't do the trick, a lawyer should be brought in. Many school districts have rules about school bullying, and the behavior you have described is exactly that.
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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