DEAR ABBY: I'm 17 and have been dating "Raymond" for two years. The thing that concerns me is we aren't supposed to be attracted to other people, but I think he is. During arguments he has thrown other girls in my face. That really hurt, and I can't get over it.
I think he's attracted to other girls, but he doesn't want me to be attracted to other guys. Can you please give me some advice? I'd really like to know what's going on inside his head. Are his eyes for me only? -- TEEN IN MERCED, CALIF.
DEAR TEEN: Probably not. It's normal for men -- and women, by the way -- of all ages to be attracted to people other than their mate. However, those with good character resist the urge to act on it.
Now for some advice: You became involved with Raymond at a very young age, which has prevented both of you from having the normal kinds of dating experiences that are supposed to happen in high school. If he is restless, it would be better for both of you to date others, at least for a while. If you are meant to be together, your relationship will stand the test of exposure to others.
DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Russ," and I have been married 13 years. During that time he has lost more than 15 jobs for various reasons -- tardiness, not performing up to par, etc. I finally was able to convince him to get tested when I noticed he was having difficulty paying attention. He was diagnosed with ADHD, and they said he has an IQ of about 80.
I am working on my doctorate. I hold a job with other wives whose husbands have "great jobs," and I sometimes don't know what to say about Russ. He's a good person, very loving and tries his best, but honestly, I do get frustrated and have a little bit of "husband envy."
Russ is 50 and we have no children. How do I come to grips with the fact that he may never be a provider? -- CHALLENGED IN NEW YORK
DEAR CHALLENGED: Your marriage has lasted 13 years, so Russ must be doing something right. Not all men are great financial providers, but most manage to make up for it in other ways.
I'll bet the other wives never say a word about their husbands' shortcomings during those chat fests. One way to come to grips with the fact that Russ may "never be a provider" would be to refrain from making comparisons when your co-workers start bragging about their spouses.
DEAR ABBY: Every time I turn on the radio or television, I hear "Call 1-800-THE-COMPANY." I know advertisers want listeners to remember them by their company name, and they think it's a clever reminder of their telephone number -- but it has become silly.
I have poor eyesight, and it's not an easy task trying to decipher those 800 numbers. Why can't they mention the number along with their cute little jingle? It would make contacting them a heck of a lot easier for people like me who happen to be ... BLIND AS A BAT IN COLORADO
DEAR BLIND AS A BAT: You make a good point. Foolish is the vendor who makes it difficult for prospective customers to make contact. It doesn't make sense to sacrifice the practical for the "cute," even though it's often tempting.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)