DEAR ABBY: I am a 17-year-old senior in high school. My boyfriend, "Kenny," is 18 and goes to college five hours away. I'd like to visit him over the weekend sometime, but I need my parents' permission. Mom is OK with it, as long as I take the train (she doesn't want me driving that distance alone) and I pay for it. Dad is old-fashioned. He dislikes the fact that Kenny and I would be unsupervised in his dorm for a whole weekend, even though Kenny has a roommate.
We've been together for a long time and have been unsupervised before, but Dad's still uneasy. He treats me like I'm younger than my age. I'm almost 18 and have traveled alone by plane. I'm respectful to my parents and feel I deserve Dad's trust.
Kenny and I love each other, but having a long-distance relationship is difficult since we hardly get to see each other. Dad likes and approves of Kenny, but thinks it's "unnecessary" for me to visit him since we call, Skype and text each other often. How can I get my father to see my point of view? -- GROWN-UP GIRL IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
DEAR GROWN-UP GIRL: You probably can't -- but your mother may be able to, which is why you should enlist her help in talking to your father for you. However, if that doesn't work, the alternative would be for Kenny to travel to visit you when he's able to get away for a weekend.
DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Dan," and I have been married for a year, but we dated for six years. He has been pressuring me to get pregnant.
I'm not ready to be a mom. I work and go to school. Every time we talk about having a baby, Dan becomes irate and yells that he'll divorce me for being selfish. I can never get my point across when I talk to him. I considered getting pregnant so he will shut up and leave me alone. I am so unhappy. He always puts his needs before mine.
I realize that married couples make sacrifices, but Dan isn't willing to. We have issues to work on, but he has made it clear that he isn't going to change. It's his way or the highway.
I still love Dan and would hate to fail as a wife, but what can I do? I knew Dan could be controlling, but I thought things would be better after we were married. I just turned 26 and I'm learning more about life. I can see that this was never a healthy relationship. But I have invested seven years of my life with this man. Please help! -- STANDING AROUND IN NEWARK, N.J.
DEAR STANDING AROUND: Staying married to someone because you have invested seven years is a poor reason to stay married. Seven more years and a baby (or more) will not improve your husband's controlling nature. If you think "my way or the highway" seems difficult now, imagine yourself on the highway with a child or two in tow.
You have serious decisions to make about your future. I agree that the relationship you have described is not healthy. How much more time do you plan to invest? Unless your husband realizes he needs help, he won't change. Please talk to a licensed counselor. You need more help than anyone can offer in an advice column.
TO MY IRISH READERS: A very happy St. Patrick's Day to you all. -- LOVE, ABBY
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