Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Woman Hides Her Body and Feelings From Her Husband

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, "Will," recently let it slip that he thinks I'm less intelligent than he is. He said if we were to take an IQ test, he would score higher. I felt hurt and angry when he said it, especially because he truly believes it. He said the same thing to me five years ago.

Now I find myself feeling extremely defensive. I am in the top third of my law school class but did poorly in engineering school. In contrast, Will has a Ph.D. in engineering.

Will assures me that being less intelligent doesn't diminish me, but I'm still upset. Now I'm thinking of ending the relationship. Do you think I'm being overly sensitive? -- AVERAGE IN MARYLAND

DEAR MARYLAND: Please allow me to enlighten you about something. Being in the top third of your class in law school already makes you above average, so please stop allowing your boyfriend's egotistical comment to undermine your self-esteem.

Will may or may not have a higher IQ than you, but he is lacking in social intelligence and common sense. His superior attitude is obnoxious. Whether you keep him or dump him is up to you, but recognize that no one has everything. While Will may be brilliant in one area, he is deficient when it comes to sensitivity. Ask yourself why he needed to say what he did to you, and you may find that he's using his air of intellectual superiority to mask a lack of self-esteem.