DEAR ABBY: I was engaged for 18 months to "Jerry," a man I wanted to marry. We become engaged after dating for six months, but we had known each other three years before becoming romantically involved.
A few weeks ago, Jerry announced that he wants to end our engagement because he is going through a "selfish period" in his life and wants to be able to go out without feeling guilty.
I believe Jerry is seeing someone else, but he is adamant that this is only for him -- his chance to be independent. He said he wants me to give him a chance to possibly rekindle our relationship in a year. I don't know if I'm willing to do that. Any advice? -- BROKENHEARTED IN PHOENIX
DEAR BROKENHEARTED: Yes. It appears your former fiance is commitment-phobic. Whether Jerry is seeing someone or not is beside the point. He wants to be free to look around, and if he can't "do any better" in a year he may "possibly" come back -- or not. (Give him marks for honesty!)
My advice is to consider this romance a thing of the past. Use the next 12 months to do some serious looking around yourself. If by chance you're still available -- and willing -- when Jerry is "possibly" ready to rekindle the relationship, do so ONLY if he agrees to complete a course of couples counseling with you. Unless you do, this man will break your heart again.
DEAR ABBY: I am an 11-year-old girl. My mommy was diagnosed with MS a few months ago. I would like to help the hospital raise money to find a cure to fix her and others like her.
Ten percent of my bat mitzvah money is going to find a cure for MS. My sister says it's a stupid idea because if there was a cure they would have already found one. Do you think I'm doing the right thing? -- WANTS TO FIX MOMMY
DEAR WANTS: You're doing a wise and wonderful thing. If the medical community thought the way your sister does, they would still be hitting people on the head with rocks in order to anesthetize them for surgery, and none of the miraculous medical advances of the last 100 years would have come about. The answer to diseases like your mother's lies in research -- and research costs money. Please don't let yourself be intimidated. Your instincts are excellent.
DEAR ABBY: Every three or four months I am invited to spend a night at my married daughter's home.
While I am sitting at the breakfast table having my morning cereal, her husband will walk in, fix his coffee and cereal, then take it back into the bedroom, leaving me alone. I mentioned it to my daughter. She said that's his routine. I think it's rude, and I don't feel like visiting anymore. I can have coffee alone in my own home. Any suggestions? -- ONE UNHAPPY MOM
DEAR UNHAPPY MOM: Surely you aren't spending the night at your daughter's in order to be entertained by your son-in-law in the morning. Unless he avoids you in the evenings too, accept that he isn't a morning person and read the newspaper or turn on the news. But please don't pout. It's an unattractive habit.
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