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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I recently married for the second time. My first husband was verbally and emotionally abusive. My new husband is kindhearted and takes good care of me. I have one problem though. He curses all the time. (I don't think he realizes he is doing it anymore.)

I believe that cursing makes a person look ignorant. What bothers me most are his racist jokes. I have told him I don't like hearing him insult other races or cultures, but he still does it. He thinks the jokes are funny and he shares them with his kids.

I don't think he is really racist; I just think he's emotionally immature and doesn't realize how rude his behavior is. What do I do? I'm embarrassed by it and don't want to encourage it in his kids. -- NO JOKE

DEAR NO JOKE: Your second husband may treat you better than your previous one, but it appears you have married a man who is both a racist and a bigot. I don't blame you for being embarrassed, because jokes of this nature reflect more upon the person telling them than the minority that's being ridiculed. Point that out to him, if you haven't already. And you should definitely explain it to his kids so they'll understand that this kind of humor will label them.

Read more in: Marriage & Divorce

Trouble With In-Laws Reveals Trouble In Marriage

DEAR ABBY: After 15 years of trying to establish a relationship with my in-laws, I recently decided to sever my contact with them. They have been deceptive and talk about me to my husband in whispers behind my back. I understand his loyalty to his family, but I strongly feel that continuing to deny that their behavior is unhealthy is unhealthy for me. Being forced to see them makes me physically ill.

How can I help my husband see that he can have a relationship with his parents without my participation? -- I'M DONE, IN ARIZONA

DEAR DONE: Avoiding your in-laws isn't the answer. If your husband hasn't stood up to his parents and sided with you before now, your marriage is in trouble. Find a licensed marriage counselor who can "help" him realize that what his parents have been doing is undercutting his wife and sabotaging his marriage. Then cross your fingers that he's strong enough to do something to correct it.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Marriage & Divorce

DEAR ABBY: How can I gently break the news to my sister that I am pregnant? She has been trying to conceive for more than a year, but is still unsuccessful. (I got pregnant within a month of trying.)

What can I do to avoid hurting her feelings when I tell her? I'm only a few weeks along, so I haven't told anyone except my husband, of course. -- EXPECTING IN THE EAST

DEAR EXPECTING: Infertility issues can be extremely painful for couples who have been trying to have a child, particularly if the problem has been going on for some time. You should tell your sister privately, in person, and before you start to show. I don't think it's necessary to mention that you became pregnant after only one month, because it might appear that you are gloating.

Read more in: Family & Parenting

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)