DEAR ABBY: I am 35 and my husband is 45. When we met, he weighed 375 pounds. He has now hit the 600-pound mark. I have five kids, a full-time job and go to school two nights a week. He talks about losing weight, but it's easier to talk about than actually do. He was in a car accident that left him with back problems, and on top of that he has bad knees from sports.
The future doesn't look promising. I know that one day he'll be confined to bed -- I predict in the very near future -- and I will have to drop everything to take care of him. He is already dependent on me and the older kids to take care of him because he's in pain all the time and can't physically do anything. He doesn't have insurance.
If I didn't have a family to take care of, it might not be as big of an issue. This is very depressing. I am thinking of seeing a counselor. He has already told me that he won't go. Your input would be greatly appreciated. -- WIFE OF A BIG MAN
DEAR WIFE: Talk to a counselor right away. Unless you do something now, you will be unemployed and homebound with a sick husband and five dependent children. Who enabled your helpless husband to gain all the weight?
His life depends upon him being on a strict, sensible nutrition regimen. Because he has no insurance, a self-help group could be a lifesaver. Overeaters Anonymous may be able to give you some guidance and offer him emotional support. There are chapters nationwide, as near as your phone book, or contact them online at www.oa.org.
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, "Frank," and I have been together for four months. I'm 21 and he's 31. He was married before. This is my first serious relationship.
Sometimes we get into heated arguments because he's ready to "plan for the future" while I just want to go with the flow. He thinks I don't take our relationship seriously because I'm not ready to move in with him, get married or start a family yet. When I explain that I would love for all of that to happen -- eventually -- Frank says it seems more like a friendship than a relationship. That really hurts me, because I'm trying.
These arguments over my lack of "seriousness" are killing me. They started two months into the relationship. I feel pressured. If the pressure continues, I'm feeling like we may not be able to be together. I need your advice, please. -- DOING THE BEST I CAN IN BOSTON
DEAR DOING THE BEST YOU CAN: You are a smart young woman with excellent instincts. Trust them. You feel pressured because you are being pressured. In fact, you're being given the full-court press.
Pushing for a quick involvement/commitment is one of the warning signs of an abuser. Ask yourself, What's the rush? Find out the reasons why his marriage failed. Stand your ground and don't allow yourself to be pushed into anything you are not completely comfortable with. And if it persists, end the relationship.
DEAR ABBY: I'm seeing a counselor for my anxiety, and it bothers me that he yawns throughout each consultation. He sometimes apologizes for it, though. Is this inappropriate behavior for a therapist? -- MIFFED IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR MIFFED: Unless your counselor is starved for oxygen or burning the candle at both ends, yes, it is. And because it is distracting to you during your sessions, tell him if it doesn't stop, you will have to find another counselor.
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.)