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by Abigail Van Buren

Family Chafes Under Cruel Tyranny of a TV Dictator

DEAR ABBY: I love my husband. We have been married for 45 years. But if he isn't in control of the TV, he is unbearable. Even if someone else is watching something, he will come in and demand to change the channel. If he falls asleep and we change the channel back, he gets mad when he wakes up. He'll change it back and immediately fall asleep again. I have tried to get him to understand he is being rude, but he doesn't agree.

I realize this isn't a serious problem, but it's very annoying. Thanks for any suggestions you might have on this issue. -- MARRIED TO A TV HOG

DEAR MARRIED: Trying to reason with your husband won't work because what he's really doing is asserting himself as top dog in the household. I'm sorry you didn't ask me sooner because I could have saved you years of frustration by recommending you get a second television set in another room.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce

DEAR ABBY: I inherited my mom's engagement ring a few years ago when she passed away. I don't know what to do with it now. It appraised for $3,500, but I understand that is full retail. Female friends say I need to keep it to give to a special woman (or use the stone for another ring to offer her).

I'm almost 50 and haven't been in a relationship in many years. My last date was nearly 10 years ago, so I am thinking it is not likely I will ever have anyone to share the ring with. I hate for it to sit in a box until I am gone for someone else to deal with.

Do you think I should sell it or continue to hold onto it? I live a debt-free life after paying off my house a couple of years ago, so the extra money isn't a necessity. -- DAVID IN KENTUCKY

DEAR DAVID: Gems are meant to be enjoyed, and it is doing no one any good sitting in a drawer, a cupboard or a safe. If you have no relatives who might like to have the ring or the stone, then sell it.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Money | Death

Couple Explores Repairing Broken Relationship

DEAR ABBY: In late 2012, I met the most amazing man I've ever known, "Sean." We fell in love instantly. We had a perfect love until eight months later, when I suffered a mental breakdown.

I didn't know how to deal with anything in my life. I contemplated suicide. I pushed Sean away. In spite of all his pleas and loving expressions, I pushed harder.

Finally, six months into my recovery, I have started to change my life. I had already told Sean to move on. In the six months since we split up, he has recently started dating someone else. I'm better now and want him back. He still loves me and wants me back, too, but says he's afraid of another breakdown.

What do I do? Sean is absolutely perfect for me, and our love was fantastic up until that breakdown. Help me, please! -- FRANTIC IN FRESNO

DEAR FRANTIC: I'll try. If Sean is willing, schedule a session (or two) for both of you with your therapist, so he can discuss his concerns with a mental health professional who is familiar with your case. It may help Sean understand what happened, allay his fears and facilitate you getting back together if he's sincere about what he's telling you.

Read more in: Love & Dating | Mental Health

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