DEAR ABBY: My husband and I want to start a family, but until now our circumstances have not made this possible. After a big move and starting a new business, we have decided it's about time.
My problem is my husband uses drugs to relieve stress. I don't feel he abuses them; it just takes the edge off after a hard day's work like a glass of wine does for me sometimes.
I would like him to stop taking the drugs while we are trying to conceive in case it could affect the baby. He is unwilling and it makes me crazy. I have decided that if he can't do this, he isn't ready to be a father. On the other hand, he's a hard worker, and I wonder if by asking him to do this I am being selfish. Please give me some advice. -- READY FOR MOTHERHOOD IN MISSISSIPPI
DEAR READY FOR MOTHERHOOD: You are not being selfish, you are being prudent. According to Dr. June Reinisch, director emerita of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction: "There is some evidence that suggests certain drugs can attach to the sperm and therefore affect the fetus. So the best plan for a healthy baby would be for the man to be as 'clean' as possible before he starts to make a child. This is because sperm are produced about three months before they are released."