Man’s si­lence about past ther­apy dis­tances fi­ancee

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - COMMUNITY/ENTERTAINMENT - Abi­gail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My fi­ance and I have been to­gether for four years. We live to­gether. Re­cently, I was talk­ing to him about men­tal health and the ben­e­fits of ther­apy, which I firmly sup­port.

He said he thinks it’s a waste of time.

When I asked why, he replied that it hadn’t worked for him. I asked what he meant by that (I wasn’t aware that he had ever even been in ther­apy), and he said he went when he was 12 or 13.

Af­ter that, he clammed up. He wouldn’t dis­cuss why he went or share any de­tails at all. Nor­mally, we can talk about any­thing.

I feel like if it hadn’t been im­por­tant, he wouldn’t have re­acted that way.

Since then, I have been feel­ing dis­tant from him be­cause of this.

I’m not an­gry, and I don’t want to force him to tell me any­thing, but as his fu­ture wife, I’m con­cerned that he would keep his past from me.

I would like for him to at least open up about the ba­sics. I want us to be close, but I don’t want to in­vade his pri­vacy or make him feel dis­re­spected. Should I try and for­get that he said any­thing at all? — TORN IN GEORGIA

DEAR TORN: No, just wait a few weeks be­fore you ask him why he re­acted the way he did. By then he may be bet­ter able to ar­tic­u­late it. You should be aware be­fore you marry him of what the issue was, par­tic­u­larly if it in­volved de­pres­sion or mo­lesta­tion.

DEAR ABBY: Ear­lier this year, my step­mother made it a goal to lose weight. So far she has made no changes in her diet to help her ac­com­plish that goal. She eats lots of fatty foods, uses lots of salt and eats al­most no fruits or veg­eta­bles.

I feel Dad en­ables her be­cause he does noth­ing to en­cour­age her to eat health­ier. He, on the other hand, eats very healthy — al­most the op­po­site of what she does. He rarely eats any­thing fatty and uses salt spar­ingly. He also eats fruits and veg­eta­bles every day.

My step­mother’s weight is an issue.

She has sev­eral health prob­lems that would im­prove greatly if she lost weight. I would like to say some­thing to her about her diet, but don’t know how with­out of­fend­ing her. I know she would take it per­son­ally, and it would make our re­la­tion­ship dif­fi­cult.

What should I do in this sit­u­a­tion? — IT’S A WEIGHTY ISSUE

DEAR WEIGHTY ISSUE: I think the best ap­proach would be to talk about this with your fa­ther. Tell your dad you are con­cerned be­cause your step­mother’s weight prob­lem is af­fect­ing her health and sug­gest they con­sult a li­censed nu­tri­tion­ist (RDN) about “tweak­ing” her diet to help her to reach her goal. Be­cause the topic is sen­si­tive, it would be bet­ter if he broached the sub­ject with his wife rather than you. While he’s at it, he could also sug­gest some light ex­er­cise ac­tiv­ity to start her mov­ing.

DEAR ABBY: How do you tell a well-dressed, so­phis­ti­cated woman that she has a booger or a hair hang­ing out of her nose? I have en­coun­tered this prob­lem more than once, and I am em­bar­rassed for them. — BARB IN CAL­I­FOR­NIA

DEAR BARB: If you are in a group, take the woman aside and give her the news pri­vately. While she may be em­bar­rassed, I’m sure she would also be grate­ful that you cared enough to clue her in. (The same goes for some­one trail­ing toi­let pa­per on her shoe, or worse, down the back of her pants.)

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069. To or­der “How to Write Let­ters for All Oc­ca­sions,” send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus cheque or money or­der for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby — Let­ter Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 61054-0447. Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.

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