DEAR ABBY: I met my husband, "Jerome," two years ago. During our courtship, he helped me to find faith. Because of that, I wanted a completely honest relationship with him and confessed to a "less than moral" experience that occurred several years before I met him. Apparently he was able to accept it, because he proposed and we have been married for several months.
Recently, however, Jerome has been saying it's bothering him and he doesn't know how to let it go. I'm angry and hurt that something that happened long ago is now causing problems in my marriage. It has made me question why I was honest with him.
I'm afraid Jerome will never forgive me. He says he feels as though he has to compete with my past and doesn't feel he can live up to it. How do I tackle this problem? I can't change my past, I can't take back what I told him, and I can't do anything to change my husband. Please help. -- HAUNTED BY THE PAST
DEAR HAUNTED: First, stop apologizing. You are the sum total of all your experiences, and that's the woman he married. Tell your husband you will not accept anything less than marriage counseling now. He knows about your "experience" because you leveled with him. Make it clear that this isn't a contest, and he's all you want in a man. If he can't accept it, there is no basis for a marriage, and frankly, little hope for a future together.
DEAR ABBY: I have been invited to a wedding. The invitation included explicit instructions on what is appropriate attire. Ladies are "not to wear anything tight or revealing, or that doesn't cover chest, back, knees and shoulders." One of my friends said she wouldn't go to such a wedding. Another said, "I don't own anything that meets their dress code."
We are all three mature women who have always dressed conservatively. What's your take on this? Am I right to feel insulted? -- CLOTHING-CHALLENGED IN OREGON
DEAR CLOTHING-CHALLENGED: Not necessarily. It's possible that the house of worship where the wedding will be held -- as well as the families involved -- may be conservative or orthodox, which is why the women are being asked to cover themselves. If you feel the dress code is too much of an imposition, you should politely decline the invitation.
DEAR ABBY: My granddaughter, who is 18, had a child last year. She kept the baby and dropped out of school. She is now working and has returned to school to get her GED. My husband has always loved her and helps her financially.
My problem is she has twice stolen from a fund I keep for our church. Although she is the only one who could have done it, my husband refuses to believe it. I now insist on locking everything up.
Abby, if she had asked for the money either time, her grandfather would have given it to her. I think she gets an adrenaline rush from stealing. What can I do about this? -- AT A LOSS IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR AT A LOSS: Where are your granddaughter's parents? Are they aware of what has been going on? If not, please inform them because if she's stealing from you for the adrenaline rush, she is probably also doing it elsewhere. Someone needs to see that the girl receives counseling before her behavior lands her in serious trouble. And in the meantime, she should not be left alone in your home.
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