DEAR ABBY: I have been dating someone for about six months. We fell in love very quickly and spend almost every second together.
Our relationship has hit a rough patch ever since he found out that I have dated African-American men. He can't seem to get over it, but he keeps saying he wants to try to make it work. He says cruel things sometimes when he gets mad, and it seems to be on his mind constantly. I don't know what to do or how to make this better. We fell in love, but it seems to be spoiled because of my past.
This isn't a big deal to me. I have always dated people I thought were good people. He seems to view it as disgusting. I thought he was my soul mate because we connected so well on everything else, but I'm afraid he will never get past this issue and I may be wasting my time. What should I do? -- ROCKY ROAD IN THE SOUTH
DEAR ROCKY ROAD: Give him a hug and let him go. You are the sum total of your experiences and your upbringing, and the same is true of your boyfriend. He comes from a background of racial prejudice. When a person is raised that way, the mindset can be very difficult to change.
As much as you might want to, you can't fix this man; only he can do that. And from your description of him, I don't think he's capable of that kind of growth.
DEAR ABBY: I'm writing to you in the hope that you will share something with your readers. When I travel, I stay in hotels and it never ceases to amaze me how inconsiderate my fellow travelers can be. Late at night, the drunken party animals carry on, often until the sun rises. Then families with small children invade the halls, and the kids race up and down the halls screaming.
Behind every one of those closed hallway doors there may be a person who is trying to sleep. Fellow travelers, please be considerate! Walk softly and talk quietly in the halls.
And parents, please teach your children manners. This includes not playing noisily where people are trying to sleep. -- SLEEPLESS NEAR SEATTLE
DEAR SLEEPLESS: I have experienced the same difficulties that you have while traveling. Here's how I deal with it: I pick up the phone and notify the front desk or security if there are rowdy drunks keeping me awake after 10 p.m. -- and the same goes for neighbors who have the volume on their television sets turned up so high I can't sleep. If the problem persists, I ask to be moved to a quieter room.
As for the screaming children chasing each other in the hallways -- I have been known to poke my sleepy head out the door and ask them to please quiet down. Maybe I have just been lucky, but they usually do.
DEAR ABBY: I was married to my high school sweetheart, "Linda," for 37 years. I am a widower now, going into a new relationship. "Susan" and I are going slow, but we may end up living together in my home.
How do I integrate pictures of Linda with Susan being there? I have one of Linda and the kids, one of the two of us, and a painting of Linda and me together. Eventually I will want one with me and Susan.
How do I make this work? This is all new to me and I don't want to screw this up. -- LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE
DEAR L.S.T.: I am a great believer in verbal communication. Like many other things in relationships, this should be discussed and negotiated. Talk to Susan about it and see if she would be comfortable living in your home with these pictures on display. If you plan to combine households, Susan may have some photos of her own she would like to display.
Many women wouldn't object to a picture of you and your late wife. However, the portrait might be a bit much. Perhaps one of your children would like to have it.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)