DEAR ABBY: My husband is not very good when it comes to taking care of his car. He never changes the oil -- he just keeps adding new oil to the existing.
I have my own vehicle, and I'm always on him to change his oil. I have given him coupons, nagged, begged -- you name it. Because of his neglect, his engine burned out and had to be replaced at a cost of $5,000. It was money our family could hardly afford.
Should I take his car in to get regular oil changes, further enhancing his lack of maturity and responsibility? Or should I continue to allow him to take care of his car himself and possibly cost us more money in future repairs? -- MOTOR MAMA IN MOBILE
DEAR MOTOR MAMA: In very few marriages are the responsibilities divided exactly down the middle. I'm not implying that you become a beast of burden. However, if there is any doubt in your mind that this experience could be repeated, I recommend that you do your irresponsible spouse a favor and take the car in for servicing. It could save you a bundle.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 26-year-old man. All my life I was taught that the way to a woman's heart is to treat her like a queen. I have tried, and the result has been a marriage that ended in divorce and a string of failed relationships "because I am too good to be true."
Are there so few good guys left that women actually believe that? What do women really want? When I am just myself, I am told I'm "just like everyone else -- 'fake' until the real relationship begins!" Please help me understand why these women are so quick to pick the bad guy and run from us good guys. Am I doing something wrong? -- MIXED UP IN MISSOURI
DEAR MIXED UP: Where are you meeting these dolls? It's obvious to me that you need to widen your circle of acquaintances and fish in a different dating pool. A woman who would say something like what you have quoted in your letter appears to be so bitter and damaged by her past relationships that she no longer has the ability to trust and get involved in a healthy one.
You're not doing anything wrong, so please don't give up. You will find "Miss Right," but not in the places you've been looking.
DEAR ABBY: Please help my wife and me settle a dispute we have been having for the past few years. We have been married to each other twice. The first time was for six years. We divorced for three years, but eventually realized we were better off with each other and have now been happily remarried for 22 years.
When we celebrate our anniversary, we cannot agree on the number of years to celebrate. In the case of our current anniversary, do we say we're celebrating 28 years (the total number of years we've been married) or just from the last wedding date, which would be 22 years? -- STILL CONFUSED AFTER ALL THESE YEARS
DEAR STILL CONFUSED: The answer to your question depends upon whether you're a pragmatist, a romantic or a realist. If you're a pragmatist, the answer is 22 years. If you're a romantic it's 28 years. And if you're a realist you'll smile, say, "Yes, Dear," and let your wife decide.
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 only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600