DEAR ABBY: I'm concerned about my friend "Nyla." She's 15 and pregnant. Nyla and her family are happy about it! As her friend, I'm not. I think she should have waited.
I keep telling her that her life is ruined and she'll regret having a baby this early, but she doesn't listen. It would be better if she had help, but she doesn't. Nyla's family is poor.
Now she is angry with me because of what I keep telling her. What can I do to help her understand me, and not get mad when I tell her something? -- VIRGINIA TEEN
DEAR VIRGINIA TEEN: If you want Nyla to "understand" you, quit lecturing her because it's only making her defensive. Defensive people don't listen. How any family, rich or poor, could be "happy" about the pregnancy of an unwed 15-year-old is beyond me. But your friend is pregnant and she's keeping the baby.
So be a real friend and encourage her to finish high school so she can prepare herself for a job that will enable her to support her little one. If she completes her education, the chances are better that her child will, too. But if she doesn't, the reverse is also true, and the repercussions will go on for another generation.
DEAR ABBY: I need help. When we started dating, my (now) husband told me he didn't care about past relationships because "the past is the past and it's over." Now he has begun grilling me about every boyfriend I've ever had, demanding details about every aspect of the relationships, physical, emotional -- whatever.
He makes snide remarks and asks if I would like him to track them down and if I'd like to sleep with them again. At first, I thought he was joking, but it has escalated to text messages and threats of divorce if I don't tell him everything he wants to know. I have been sick to my stomach the last few days, and I think this fits the definition of emotional abuse. I don't know whether to suggest counseling or just tell him to go.
He was wonderful when we first got together, but now he says marrying me was just a ruse to get sex. What can I do? I miss the person he used to be. He has always seemed concerned that I would eventually cheat on him, although I have given him no reason to think so and have assured him repeatedly that I want only him. Why is this happening? -- SICK TO MY STOMACH IN OHIO
DEAR SICK TO YOUR STOMACH: It's because you didn't really know the man you married. The way he presented himself was, in his words, "all a ruse" to convince you to marry him "to get sex." He appears to have increasing anxiety about how he measures up to your past lovers.
Harassing you for details and threatening to contact them is, frankly, sick behavior. He needs counseling, and unless he seeks it immediately you should get out of there. If you stay, the emotional abuse could escalate to physical abuse. To ensure your safety, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-7233 and discuss this with a trained counselor.
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