DEAR ABBY: I'm 50 and my boyfriend, "Ray," is 55. We have been together for 11 years. He's divorced with two children. I am single and childless. We owned our own homes until a year ago, when we sold them and bought a house together. We each pay half the bills including the mortgage. We love each other, get along great, have similar values and can't imagine not being together.
My problem is I want to get married. Ray does, too, but his 20-year-old daughter isn't ready for it yet. She and I get along fine, but she gets very stressed and cries when the topic is mentioned. I told Ray I think she has learned from her childhood that crying enables her to get her way. But Ray insists she has anxiety issues, and he's afraid she will hurt herself if we get married. I say we should just do it and hope that, eventually, she accepts it.
Counseling is out of the question for her. She won't go. Ray and I did go for advice about this. The counselor agreed that his daughter needs counseling, but we can't "make" her go. My question is, is Ray ever going to marry me? Any suggestions on what we should do? -- CONFUSED IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR CONFUSED: If Ray waits for his daughter's blessing, it may take another 11 years for her to give it -- if she ever does. You and Ray should get more counseling to help him find the strength to stop allowing his troubled daughter to rule his life.Read more in: Love & Dating | Marriage & Divorce | Family & Parenting | Mental Health
DEAR ABBY: My hog-mouth husband and I are having an ongoing disagreement about food. When there is special food in the house, something we both like, he feels free to eat as much of it as he wants without leaving any for me. His argument is that if it's around for several days -- even if it's frozen -- I have had "plenty of time to get my share." I feel it shouldn't be up to him to tell me how much to eat, and when.
He weighs almost twice as much as I do, and eats accordingly. It's particularly upsetting if I have invested hours in the preparation of a dish, only to find it's gone when I want my second helping. I think he is being inconsiderate at best. Am I wrong? -- WHERE'S MY BEEF?!
DEAR "WHERE'S": I don't think so. Your husband is behaving like a selfish child. If you have been cooking in large quantities, try preparing only enough for two portions for a while -- a long while.Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Marriage & Divorce
DEAR ABBY: My 30-year-old niece passed away, leaving a 7-year-old daughter. Her grieving husband found a married woman two months later. She divorced her second husband, and now all three of them are living together.
Abby, the little girl is not allowed to tell anyone that her mommy died and has to tell all her friends that her father's new girlfriend is her mom. Is it right to keep her from talking about her mommy? -- MARIA FROM TEXAS
DEAR MARIA: Of course not! While the father and his girlfriend might wish to erase the child's mother from her memory, she is old enough to always remember not only that her mother died, but also that her father and this woman want to bury the fact that she ever existed. That child needs to talk about her mother, and to forbid it will cause problems when she is older. Count on it.Read more in: Death | Marriage & Divorce | Family & Parenting | Abuse | Mental Health
DEAR ABBY: I work with several women who are Hispanic. They are all very nice and I love working with them. The problem is when they are together they speak Spanish. I do not understand a word they say, so I am left out of the conversation. How can I let them know how rude I think this is? -- LEFT OUT IN TEXAS
DEAR LEFT OUT: Say it in English, and if they are as nice as you say they are, they will make an effort to include you.Read more in: Work & School | Friends & Neighbors | Etiquette & Ethics
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