DEAR ABBY: I have been married for seven years to a man who curses something awful. We have three children, and he curses at them, too, when he's angry. I'm afraid his verbal abuse is destroying our children's self-esteem, and I have asked him repeatedly to stop it. I even threatened to leave if he doesn't clean up his act.
When he swears, it sends shivers up my spine and I get angry. We used to have heated arguments, but I have learned to watch my mouth. I thought he would get the idea if I set an example, but he didn't even notice.
He was in the Navy, and for a long time he blamed his cursing on his time in the military. Well, he has been out for 12 years now and that excuse is a little tired. I have made plans to leave him and will stick with my decision unless he's willing to make a serious effort to control his mouth. In the meantime, what do you suggest I do? I've tried everything -- even prayer. -- READY TO WALK IN VIRGINIA
DEAR READY TO WALK: In the "meantime," try earplugs for the children and a swear box for your salty-mouthed spouse. (If you don't know what a swear box is, it's a container into which an agreed-upon amount of money is placed every time a curse word is uttered.) Use the proceeds to tide you over after you've left him if the swear box doesn't cure him.
DEAR ABBY: I have a delicate problem. My boss's wife wears a very strong perfume. Every time she walks into the office, I get a headache and feel nauseated for hours. I am allergic to perfume, and women do not seem to understand that while they "think" they smell good, they are really making me sick.
When the boss's wife comes in, I try to stay in my office, but the smell is so overpowering I can't escape. How should I handle this? -- HOLDING MY BREATH IN TALLADEGA, ALA.
DEAR HOLDING: For the sake of your health, you must speak to your employer and explain your sensitivity to perfumes and the effect they have on you. You are far from alone in this problem -- many others also have allergic reactions when exposed to perfumes, after-shave or scented products of any kind.
Ask your boss to please ask his wife to forgo the perfume when she visits the office because it gives you a headache and an upset stomach. How else will he -- or she -- know there's a problem?
DEAR ABBY: I have been dating "Carolyn" for about a year. We are both in our 50s and have talked about marriage in the future.
Before we met, Carolyn had profiles on two dating sites -- not as a paid member, but just as someone who could look around without being able to send or receive messages.
I have asked her to delete these profiles now that we have reached the one-year mark. She says I shouldn't be concerned, that she's just interested in reading about other people. She insists she wants to be only with me and isn't looking to go out with anyone else.
Abby, this doesn't sit well with me. What do you think? -- EXCLUSIVELY HERS IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR EXCLUSIVELY HERS: I think you don't trust Carolyn. Unless you're convinced that she's "exclusively" yours -- and you're not -- you should rethink your future with her. If you're discussing marriage, she shouldn't be disregarding your feelings.
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