DEAR ABBY: A few years ago, you helped me with an unhappy relationship I was in. I took your advice, and it made a big improvement in my life. I am now engaged to a wonderful woman, and we're very happy. I never thought I would have to write you again.
Abby, I am seeing some behavior in my 15-year-old nephew that has me worried. He's a "high achiever" and, basically, a pretty good kid. Maybe he's under stress from school or sports, but he has been having some shocking, angry outbursts. Whether against his parents, his brother or his girlfriend, he will fly into a rage. He shouts, pounds his fists on the table, slams doors (breaking a glass pane) and storms out of the house. I saw him shove his brother during a recent argument, and I have heard him threaten to put his fist through a wall. Luckily, he hasn't followed through.
He doesn't have a history of causing trouble, and these angry outbursts don't happen all the time. I know you have a booklet about controlling anger. Do you think it might help him, and how can I order one? -- WORRIED UNCLE, ANNAPOLIS, MD.
DEAR WORRIED UNCLE: We all have moments when we react without thinking. Your nephew is young, and his problem could be caused by a number of things -- including immaturity, lack of self-control and raging hormones. If you have a good level of communication with him, the first thing you should do is have a talk with him and ask what's really going on.
If he is not having emotional or substance abuse problems, my anger booklet might be helpful to him. It contains constructive information about anger and suggestions for defusing it in healthy ways. It can be ordered by sending a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)
DEAR ABBY: I have been house-sitting -- and paying rent -- for a retired couple for the last six months. They are traveling in an RV, so I moved into the spare room, collect their mail and keep their house in order.
They come back to town every few weeks so one or both of them stays a night at the home. This was OK until last night.
The husband wasn't supposed to be at the house. I was expecting him tonight because he has a doctor's appointment tomorrow. When I came home and saw him there, I was a little surprised. I was tired from a hard day at work, so I went to bed early. This morning, I awoke at 6:15 to my door opening. The husband came into my room, said he was cold, and jumped into my bed. He was naked! I told him he was a freak, jumped out of bed, rushed into my bathroom, locked the door and got ready to leave for work. I didn't see him before I left.
Should I call the wife and tell her what happened? I am staying at a friend's tonight because I don't want to run into him again. I no longer feel safe with him there. Should I find a new place to live? I'm 31 and he is in his 60s. Yuck! -- GROSSED OUT IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR GROSSED OUT: The answers to both of your questions is yes -- and the sooner the better.
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