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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I have a huge problem. I am a 16-year-old girl, and last week I lied to my best friend's parents so we could go to a movie. Her parents found out and told my parents, who got very angry and have me grounded for a minimum of a month -- depending on my "attitude."

I never used to lie as often as I do now. In the first week of being grounded, I lied again and got caught. Now they don't trust me at all, and I can't even leave my school campus to go to lunch or answer phone calls or anything!

How do I get my mom and dad to trust me again when I'm grounded? If I'm not given any freedom, then how can I prove I'm responsible? I am at the end of my rope here. Please help. -- CAUGHT LYING IN COLORADO

DEAR CAUGHT LYING: Trust is built on confidence, and it is going to take some time for you to rebuild it. Put yourself in your parents' shoes. Until you are an adult, they are responsible for your health, education and growth.

The first thing you need to do is admit to them that you have screwed up. Then start working to redeem yourself. Remember, actions speak louder than words. It isn't what you say, but what you DO that matters.

If you want to be treated like a mature adult, perform like one. Be responsible for your actions, and you will earn your parents' confidence. Look at it this way -- whom do YOU trust? Those who have shown by their actions that they can be trusted, of course. I'm sure your parents are aching to trust you. So start today to show them that they can, and they will.

DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Dru," and I get along great. We are each other's best friend, and I believe we can make it for the long haul. However, a colleague overheard a conversation I was having with my husband and told me I sounded like his mother!

I am a deployed soldier, and Dru has been dragging his feet regarding some things we need to take care of. I sometimes feel like his mother on issues where I don't think he "gets it." I do tend to "mother" the people I love, and I would like my husband to step up more and show me more often that we're a team, not a parent and child.

It could also be that my mom and brothers reject my affection, and I like to shower it on Dru because that's how I show love. Should we set more boundaries so I don't feel like my husband's mom? -- OVERLY MOTHERLY OVERSEAS

DEAR OVERLY MOTHERLY: No marriage is identical to another. The amount of give-and-take between the spouses that makes it successful -- or causes it to fail -- is a delicate balance that is different in each one. Some men like being told what to do and when to do it -- and so do some women. Other couples make their decisions jointly.

If you are uncomfortable in the role you have assumed, talk to your husband about your feelings. When you are back stateside, it may be time for some marriage counseling if you feel it's needed.

DEAR ABBY: When picking up another couple for a half-hour drive to a restaurant, should I continue to sit next to my husband (who is driving), or should I get in the back seat with the wife of the other couple, so we gals can chat and the guys can, too? -- UNSURE IN MOUNTAIN HOME, ARK.

DEAR UNSURE: It depends upon how friendly you are with the wife and how much you have to chat about. If the conversation will be so intense that you begin to resemble Linda Blair in "The Exorcist," sit in the back so you won't throw your neck out.

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 $6 (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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