DEAR ABBY: I'm a 33-year-old male who has finally found the love of my life. My girlfriend and I have been together for three years. Needless to say, an engagement is right around the corner.
I have a sister who has struggled her entire life dating the wrong men. She's beautiful inside and out. She called me last night crying, asking me why men always cheat on her.
Most people would assume that the use of the word "always" is an exaggeration. I would have to say that 90 percent of her boyfriends, have indeed, cheated on her one way or another -- whether it was in high school, or when she dated a race car driver or, more recently, an acquaintance of mine.
What can I say to reassure her that there are some good guys left in this world who won't cheat? -- LOOKING FOR ANSWERS FOR SIS
DEAR LOOKING FOR ANSWERS: Tell your sister that there are men with character who take relationships seriously. They may not be as glamorous as a race car driver, or flashy or glib, but they have more important qualities to offer. Point out that when one man after another is unfaithful, it can damage a woman's self-esteem. And when that happens it can make her insecure and willing to suspend her better judgment out of fear that she'll be alone.
Explain that women with high self-esteem receive more respect because they won't settle for less, and that they don't jump into relationships -- they wait for a man to prove himself. Men value more highly what they have to work for. Perhaps that will help to set her straight.
DEAR ABBY: I have lived an amazing life surrounded by family, friends and loved ones. My parents and maternal grandparents are still active in my daily life. Because I am so close to all of them I'm scared, worried and sometimes downright depressed at the thought of losing any of them.
I know in the circle of life, death should be accepted as the next great adventure, but I don't know if I can handle that. I'm asking for advice on how to handle these events now. I do not have family near me but an amazing circle of friends for support. I just know that I'm going to slip into a world of sadness that I'm afraid I won't come out of. My problems may seem minor in light of today's issues, but I do need guidance. -- SELFISH IN LAS VEGAS
DEAR SELFISH: The concerns you are feeling are not "selfish." They are normal, if somewhat premature.
You are fortunate to have your parents and grandparents in your life -- if only through phone calls and e-mails. You are also lucky to have supportive friends nearby.
The hardest part of grieving the loss of a loved one is regret about words that were never said. So tell your parents and grandparents often how much you love and appreciate them. See them when you can. And continue to be the kind of person of whom they can be proud, because when they are gone, you will be their legacy.
DEAR ABBY: Please tell me how to tell my husband of 25 years, who has different political views than mine, to shut up during news shows and comedies and mysteries I watch on my TV -- not his -- within earshot of his office. He insists on coming in while I'm trying to concentrate and blasting his views whether I want to hear them or not. -- FRUSTRATED IN DAYTON, OHIO
DEAR FRUSTRATED: You can't completely ignore your husband's rants -- but when you're trying to devote your attention to one of your favorite TV shows, some headphones might lessen the distraction. Contact your local electronics store for suggestions.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)