DEAR ABBY: Today I witnessed what may be the end of a marriage, and it was because of a professional health care worker's unwise remark.
My wife was having a colonoscopy, and there was one large recovery room where patients coming out of anesthesia were grouped. (There were curtains separating the patients.)
While I was waiting for my wife to awaken, I overheard a nurse talking to the wife of the patient next to us. She said, "You know, you can find out anything from them when they're coming out of anesthesia. They are completely incapable of lying." She said it in a lighthearted way -- sort of giggling.
A few minutes later, I heard the wife ask in a hushed voice, "Bart, have you ever cheated on me?"
"Yes," he moaned, "with Mary Helen."
I heard the wife choke back a sob and she ran from the room. It was another 45 minutes before my wife was ready to leave, and the woman did not return during that time.
Abby, I think it was ridiculous for that nurse to pass on the information that prompted this scene. Should I let the doctor know about his nurse's unwise comment? -- MIKE IN TUCSON, ARIZ.
DEAR MIKE: Absolutely! People have been known to babble all sorts of nonsense when coming out of anesthesia. Of course, a wife who would have to stoop to such behavior already has her suspicions, or she wouldn't feel the need to ask. But you have described a man who was not only not responsible for what came out of his mouth, but also probably has no memory of it thanks to the new, improved anesthetics being used today. The doctor needs to counsel his nurse for her poor judgment.
DEAR ABBY: I have a huge problem. I met my husband when I was 13. We married at 21. From day one, he knew I did not ever want kids. He figured I would change my mind, and one day I would have one. Well, I'm 25 now, and I still don't want kids. I will not change my mind.
He has now given me an ultimatum. Either I get pregnant within two years or he wants a divorce. I love my husband, and I'd do anything for him -- but I do not want kids! Should we just divorce now and get it over with, or should I stick it out for two years hoping he won't leave me? -- DON'T CALL ME MOMMY, SLIDELL, LA.
DEAR DON'T CALL: You might as well separate now, because if your husband wants children, he has the right to have them. He just picked the wrong girl to marry.
Your letter is a perfect example of why premarital counseling is so important for couples before they marry -- to make certain both parties are "on the same page" about what they expect from the marriage and each other.
DEAR ABBY: Our son and his fiancee chose to elope to Hawaii for their wedding, opting out of a traditional wedding and reception. Now we are told they have registered at several stores.
Is it appropriate to expect friends and relatives to send gifts to a couple that has eloped? -- CURIOUS IN CINCINNATI
DEAR CURIOUS: No, it is not "appropriate." It is customary to give a wedding gift if someone attends the celebration. Otherwise, a gift is not required. And for them to "expect" gifts under these circumstances seems nervy to me.
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 $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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