DEAR ABBY: I have been engaged to "Zack" for three years, but I don't know if I should marry him. My family has never approved of him, and they have put second thoughts into my head.
Zack has been in prison for the last two years and wants us to be married as soon as he gets out, which will be in another three years.
When I read his letters or visit him, he scares me. Prison has changed Zack so much I hardly recognize him anymore. Since he has been incarcerated, he's been on anti-psychotic drugs and anti-depressants and sees a therapist every month. He has become almost obsessive toward me. He says things like he will be with me "for all eternity" and "till death do us part," and, "If you ever leave me, I will kill myself."
He does not know about my doubts. Should I tell him? Should I break the engagement? Should I marry him? I have so many questions. Zack is not the same guy I fell in love with years ago, and I don't know what to do. -- LACKING CONVICTION IN TEXAS
DEAR LACKING: This is a decision only you can make. Your fiance is not the only one who has changed -- you have changed, too.
Please bear in mind that this man wouldn't be on anti-psychotic medication if he didn't have serious mental problems. Life doesn't always deal us the hand we want, but we are all responsible for our own lives and our own survival. Threatening suicide to force you to stay in the relationship is a classic form of manipulation.
If you're going to break the engagement, do it NOW -- while he has access to a psychotherapist and he is somewhere where he cannot act out on impulse.