DEAR ABBY: I have always felt proud that I have never had any racist thoughts. Since the births of my three children, I have tried to instill in them that we are all God's children, no matter the color of our skin.
The problem is, my husband is a racist. He doesn't like anyone who isn't just like him. He makes rude and crude remarks in front of our kids, and I'm always trying to discredit his remarks so the kids won't end up with his bigoted way of thinking.
I have tried talking to my husband about it, but he doesn't seem to get it. How can I get through to him? -- UNBIASED IN IDAHO
DEAR UNBIASED: You can't. His racism isn't rational. He learned it from the environment in which he was raised, as your children may if he continues.
In the time you knew your husband before you married him, I'm surprised that you didn't notice his racist beliefs. If you are truly as unbiased as you say, it seems to me that a couple of uncensored remarks from him would have killed the romance.
However, please don't give up the fight. Your children need to hear consistently that not all people feel as your husband does.
DEAR ABBY: My father passed away six weeks ago. He and Mom were married 42 years. After his death, because my living situation was unhealthy, I moved back home with Mom.
Three weeks ago she began seeing an old boyfriend she had before she married Dad. I am the first to meet "Warren." Mom is keeping him a secret from my three siblings.
Warren has visited the house a few times during the day. He recently came for dinner and spent the night on the sofa in the living room. I was hurt and shocked by it. She could have at least told me he'd be staying.
I want to talk to her about this, but I don't know how. I want her to be happy, but Warren's here all the time now. Isn't it a little too soon? I miss my father. Mom hasn't considered my feelings or asked how I feel about this. I realize it's her house and she's an adult, but I can't help feeling disappointed and disrespected. -- STILL MOURNING IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR STILL MOURNING: Talk to your mother as one adult to another. Tell her you were shocked when Warren spent the night, and that his being there "all the time" seems rushed so soon after your father's death. Tell her, too, that you feel that hiding him from your siblings is a mistake.
Then hear her out. This isn't about you. Your mother is an adult. She and Warren have some shared history, so it's not as if he's a complete stranger out of nowhere. While I agree that she would be wise to take things more slowly, this isn't our decision to make.
Sooner or later you may have to make some living arrangements of your own, so you can both move on with your lives. Start thinking about it now.
DEAR ABBY: I'm in love with a man who is a lot younger than I am. He lives in France. We were supposed to marry late last year, but his visa was delayed and he had to return home.
Since then, I have heard from him only a few times and he never answers my letters. I love him so much. I still wear his engagement ring. What do you think I should do? -- OCEANS APART IN ILLINOIS
DEAR OCEANS APART: I think you should remove the ring because it appears the romance is over. Je suis desolee, Madame.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby -- Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)