DEAR ABBY: Our house will soon be paid off. My husband and I would like to have a party to celebrate, but we're not sure if we should.
None of our friends are anywhere close to paying off their mortgages. We made the choice to drive old cars while our friends all have beautiful new ones, and we were genuinely happy for them each time they proudly showed them off.
I'm a stay-at-home mom, and I am our friends' emergency contact for their kids at school. They have taken amazing vacations, and we have enjoyed their stories and photographs. We used the time and money trips would have cost to stay home and work on projects around the house. We haven't envied them; we just had different goals.
Should we celebrate this -- just the two of us, or with our friends? -- DIFFERENT GOALS IN NEW MEXICO
DEAR DIFFERENT GOALS: True friends celebrate each other's victories. With no more mortgage to pay, you and your husband will now be able to enjoy some of the things your friends have been enjoying all these years. While some couples would prefer to mark the occasion with a special dinner at a nice restaurant, if you're inclined to do otherwise, then throw a party. You deserve it.
DEAR ABBY: I have been married to a wonderful man for 38 years. The issue is that sometimes I get insanely jealous. It isn't an everyday occurrence, but I become insecure because I feel my husband is too attractive to other women.
My husband is very outgoing and I am an introvert. I find myself accusing him, and he tells me I need to stop it. He reassures me that I'm the only woman he loves and wants in his life.
I don't want to destroy our wonderful marriage. I consider myself attractive. I need to stop letting my lack of self-confidence get the best of me. Please help. -- INSECURE IN OHIO
DEAR INSECURE: I wish I could wave a magic wand and make your feelings magically disappear, but I can't. The answer to your problem lies in finding out the cause of your deep-seated insecurity, because that's what triggers your jealousy. Until you do, nothing will change. A licensed mental health professional can help you get to the root of it and provide the tools to deal with it. Your physician should be able to refer you to someone who is qualified.
DEAR ABBY: I've been with my husband for five years, but we've been married only for a year. He told me a few months ago that his ex-girlfriend said he is the father of her child. We did a home DNA test and it showed he is not the father. In spite of that, my husband insists he still wants to take care of the child. I don't know what to do. Please help. -- THROWN IN NEW YORK
DEAR THROWN: It appears that what your husband wants is to maintain a close tie to the child's mother, because that is what will happen if he takes financial responsibility for her child. Tell your husband you want to discuss this with the help of a professional mediator, preferably a marriage counselor. If he refuses, talk to an attorney because you may be needing one.