DEAR ABBY: I'm 16 and a single mom of an almost 4-month-old girl. Her father is a drug addict. He manipulated me into having sex, which I had told him I didn't want to do until I was married. Also, I told him from the beginning of our relationship that if we ever got married and started a family, I never wanted drugs around my children.
The day I found out I was pregnant, he was there. However, later that night when I went out to the garage, I caught him snorting. Is it wrong of me to not involve him in her life? I've given him multiple chances to prove himself of being worthy. -- TEEN MOM
DEAR TEEN MOM: You're not wrong. As long as your boyfriend is involved with drugs, they will come first, and you and your child won't be able to count on him -- for anything. This is why it is crucial that you now make your education a priority and earn your high school diploma. You are going to need one -- and possibly further education -- in order to support the both of you. In the meantime, a counselor at your high school can guide you regarding financial aid if you need it.Read more in: Teens | Family & Parenting | Addiction | Work & School | Money
DEAR ABBY: I am a 24-year-old Muslim woman who has fallen in love with an agnostic 35-year-old man, "William." The next step in our relationship is marriage, and my problem is our future kids.
My family expects me to marry a Muslim man and have Muslim children. William says that the kids may grow up not wanting to be Muslim, as I would like to raise them, and says he would support whatever they want to be.
I want my children to be Muslim, but I really love this man. My family and religion would not approve such a marriage. Do I walk away knowing I may never love a Muslim man the same way I love William, or marry William, risk the possibility of losing my family, and accept whatever else comes along on this difficult road? -- TORN ON THE WEST COAST
DEAR TORN: You appear to be a traditional, family-oriented young woman. I assume you are also involved in the Muslim community. If you marry William, the chances of losing all of that are great, and your likelihood of raising devout Muslim children in a household where both parents don't practice the religion will be less.
While you may not love someone else the way you love William, the chances that you will find someone else to love again are good. Because you had to ask me this question, I'm advising you to let William go. If you plan to go ahead with this, you need to have your eyes wide open about what the price will be -- because it will be high.Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Family & Parenting
DEAR ABBY: My next-door neighbor keeps asking to use my lawn mower. When he uses it, he runs over stumps and garbage in his yard. I feel he's abusing my generosity. I have hinted that he should pick up things in the yard before he mows, but he never listens. How should I handle this? -- DULL BLADES IN WEST VIRGINIA
DEAR DULL BLADES: Stop beating around the bush instead of being direct. When your neighbor asks to borrow the mower again, tell him that in the past when he has returned it to you, the blades were dull and it created problems for you. Then say no.Read more in: Friends & Neighbors
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)