Dear Abby

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PROVINCE - Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069. To re­ceive a col­lec­tion of Abby’s most mem­o­rable –

Hus­band needs re­al­ity check.

DEAR ABBY: My hus­band and I have been mar­ried seven years and have two beau­ti­ful chil­dren. Over­all, the time we have been to­gether has been won­der­ful, al­though we do some­times ar­gue.

On more than one oc­ca­sion, my hus­band has shared his con­cern that I am cheat­ing on him. I have never been un­faith­ful, nor have I ever given him any rea­son to think I would be. He’s wor­ried be­cause he knows my father was un­faith­ful to my mother many years ago. We both learned about it be­cause my mother shared it while dis­cussing my brother and his wife.

Hav­ing had no prior knowl­edge of this pe­riod in my par­ents’ lives, I was shocked. I didn’t grow up around it and was never taught that cheat­ing is OK. How can I get my hus­band to stop putting me in the same cat­e­gory as my father?

He says he read that cheat­ing is hered­i­tary so I’m bound to do it. He throws the same ac­cu­sa­tion at me any time he gets up­set with me. It’s start­ing to af­fect my hope for our fu­ture be­cause I don’t think he will ever trust that I love him and don’t plan to com­mit adul­tery. – NOT LIKE DEAR OLD DAD

DEAR NOT LIKE DEAR OLD

DAD: I don’t know where your hus­band “read” that adul­tery is hered­i­tary, but it’s time you asked to see the source of his mis­in­for­ma­tion be­cause it’s wrong. You are not re­spon­si­ble for your father’s be­hav­ior, and for your hus­band to im­ply that be­cause your father strayed you will is, frankly, in­sult­ing.

If you are ac­cused of in­fi­delity any time there’s a dis­agree­ment, you two aren’t get­ting to the root of what’s re­ally wrong in your mar­riage, and it’s time to get pro­fes­sional mar­riage coun­sel­ing.

DEAR ABBY: We just hosted the fam­ily for our an­nual postChrist­mas get-to­gether. My brother-in-law’s girl­friend of many years was on her cell­phone dur­ing the cock­tail hour, the en­tire dessert course and the gift ex­change. When I men­tioned to my hus­band how rude she was, he told me she had been check­ing foot­ball scores and cheer­ing/com­ment­ing while my daugh­ter was play­ing the vi­olin song her en­sem­ble had played for the hol­i­day con­cert.

I never an­swer my phone when I’m en­ter­tain­ing guests be­cause they are where my at­ten­tion should be. My daugh­ters have been taught that it’s rude to be on the phone dur­ing din­ner and when guests are over.

How can I nip this in the bud with­out caus­ing a rift with my brother-in-law, whom I love dearly? If “Pseudo Aun­tie” does not want to so­cial­ize with the peo­ple she has been in­vited to be with, she should stay home. – OF­FENDED IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR OF­FENDED: I agree with you that “Pseudo Aun­tie’s” be­hav­ior was rude, and I don’t blame you for feel­ing up­set about it. I do not think that it should cause a rift if you were to tell your brother-in-law and his girl­friend that us­ing her cell­phone dur­ing the din­ner you worked so hard to pre­pare, and dur­ing your daugh­ter’s vi­olin recital, caused hurt feel­ings. And tell them that in the fu­ture you would like her to leave her phone else­where dur­ing fam­ily gath­er­ings in your home.

Abi­gail Van Buren Dear Abby

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