DEAR ABBY: I recently moved in with my 41-year-old fiance, "Sean." He's a great guy, never married, no children, and I love him dearly.
I have discovered something disturbing about Sean. He has this "security fur" he can't part with. He told me he has used it since he was very young and says that the feel of it calms him down. However, I believe the "fur" has other uses besides being his security blanket.
When I became upset about it, Sean hid it from me. He only came clean (somewhat) after I told him I don't like finding those pieces of fur. I have found them in his bed, in his robe pocket, in between the sofa cushions, etc. How can I break him of this "habit"? It makes me uncomfortable, and I guess the truth is I'm somewhat jealous of the darn thing. Besides, it reminds me of a dead animal.
How can I get the fur out of both of our lives without destroying our relationship and jeopardizing our upcoming marriage? -- FUR-IOUS IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR FUR-IOUS: Over the years, I have received mail from more than a few readers who have told me they still have remnants of their baby blankets they're unable to part with -- and that touching the fabric calms them when they're agitated. However, because you suspect that your fiance may use the fur for "other things," it is important that you be clear on exactly what they are before you marry him.
My advice is to have a frank, nonthreatening chat with Sean -- in the presence of a marriage counselor, if necessary -- and get to the bottom of it. If Sean has a fur fetish -- and by that I mean he needs it for arousal -- you will have to decide if this "kink" is something you can live with.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 45-year-old man with a dilemma. Two years ago, I met a wonderful 22-year-old woman who has a terrible eating disorder. Over the last two years she has been hospitalized probably 18 months out of 24. Many people have come into her life and promised to be her friend, and all of them have given up on her as her parents have.
There was a time when I didn't miss a day of visiting her, sometimes driving an hour and a half one way. I was the only person going there and bringing her what she needed or wanted. What started as a friendship turned into a relationship. We love each other very much.
The age difference is a problem to some people -- the same ones who at one time didn't care enough to visit when she needed them the most. They say she won't live past the age of 25 because of the damage she has done to her body.
The short periods of time she has been out of the hospital we have traveled across the U.S. on little trips. She loved it, and so did I. All I want to do is make sure she enjoys what life she has left. I believe I'm doing the right thing. What do you think? -- IN LOVE IN ST. PAUL
DEAR IN LOVE: Your ladyfriend may be young, but you are both adults. Time is precious, and you should enjoy as much of it as you can together.
Also, unless you were told by her physician that she has only a short time to live, you shouldn't dwell too much on how long she has left. Happiness can be a great healer, and she could surprise everyone.
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