DEAR ABBY: My wife went on a diet a year ago and lost a tremendous amount of weight. The problem now is she won't quit. Every time I suggest she stop and put a few pounds back on, she gets angry and won't speak to me.
My wife isn't anorexic, but I have a feeling she may be headed in that direction. She has no health concerns that either of us is aware of, and when I say anything she just says, "You wanted me thin, so now I'm thin!"
Please tell me what I should do before her dieting gets out of control and becomes a serious threat to her health. -- DISTRAUGHT HUSBAND OF A VERY THIN WIFE
DEAR DISTRAUGHT: Your wife may have worked so hard to lose the weight you urged her to lose that she hasn't figured out how to stabilize and maintain it. Because you are worried that she may have gone off the deep end, the two of you should make an appointment with her doctor to discuss what a healthy weight is for her -- and possibly get a referral to a licensed nutritionist who can help her establish a healthy maintenance plan.
DEAR ABBY: My husband's sister, "Irma," has hurt us with her words and actions many times. When the drama is over, she will suddenly send an e-mail saying she "misses" my husband and me. I do not want to seem like an unforgiving person, but I'm tired of this repeated behavior. My husband and I feel we're better off not socializing with her and my brother-in-law, but if I respond to her e-mail, it just opens the door for yet another incident. How can we clear the air but not leave ourselves open for another attack? -- FORGIVEN BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
DEAR FORGIVEN: Your feelings are understandable, but this is your sister-in-law -- so you can't dodge her forever. This doesn't mean you must see her often. When you do, take an emotional step backward and treat her with the same respect -- and degree of closeness -- that you would any other acquaintance. When she acts out, absent yourself.
The woman appears to have poor impulse control and a high degree of volatility. And that's a subject that your husband might approach (privately) with his brother-in-law and you should stay away from. Your brother-in-law might be more receptive to the message if he hears it from his wife's brother.
DEAR ABBY: I have been spending more time than usual in doctors' offices now that I care for my elderly father. Lately, a lot of these offices have added TVs to their waiting rooms.
The sets are invariably tuned to 24-hour news channels on which combative people yell at each other. I think this is a bad choice for sick people. Subjecting them to this kind of programming can only raise their blood pressure. If the televisions have to be there, they should show calmer programming, like shows about food and cooking, homes and gardens, science or history.
I have tried making this point to the various health care professionals, but they look at me like I'm from Mars. Am I overreacting? -- TIRED OF YELLING HEADS IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR TIRED OF YELLING HEADS: Yes, you are. The next time you encounter this situation with your father, ask the receptionist to please change the channel and I'm sure you will be accommodated.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)