Dif­fer­ent ap­proaches to re­li­gion are likely to drive cou­ple apart

The Garden Island - - Pau Hana Time - JEAN PHILLIPS

DEAR ABBY: For the first time in my life, I am in love. We met about a month ago. I know he’s the man I have waited my en­tire life to meet. I am 33, so I know what I feel isn’t just lust. We have one huge hur­dle, though: re­li­gion. He’s ac­tively re­li­gious, while I am not, and he doesn’t be­lieve our re­la­tion­ship can sur­vive this dif­fer­ence.

On ev­ery other level, we are won­der­ful. We want the same things in life and share sim­i­lar val­ues. Our dif­fer­ence isn’t that I don’t be­lieve in God. I do. But that isn’t enough for him.

I told him I would go to church with him, and raise our chil­dren (his and mine) in a Chris­tian home, but when they are old enough we should al­low them to make their own de­ci­sions. He says that would be “just go­ing through the mo­tions” and I’d even­tu­ally re­sent him for it.

Must I let him walk away? Or should I fight for what could be (next to my kids) the best thing that’s ever hap­pened to me? — HEART­BRO­KEN IN TEXAS

DEAR HEART­BRO­KEN: In what way do you plan to “fight”? Do you plan to con­vert to his re­li­gion and de­vote the kind of time to it that he does? Think care­fully about what that would mean.

While his fer­vent re­li­gios­ity is laud­able, what this man doesn’t re­al­ize is that re­gard­less of the ex­am­ple he wants to set for his chil­dren, even­tu­ally they are go­ing to make up their own minds and live their lives the way they wish.

This “one dif­fer­ence” is a deal-breaker. He is looking for a spir­i­tual clone. You’re not it, so let him go.

DEAR ABBY: I went on a road trip with a friend who is nor­mally kind and gen­er­ous. She in­sisted on driv­ing the en­tire way. She of­ten ex­ceeded the speed limit and kept less than 20 feet be­tween us and the 18-wheel truck ahead.

She read texts, an­swered her cell­phone and made phone calls while she was driv­ing. She’s very demon­stra­tive when she talks, so while she drove, hold­ing her cell with her left hand, she’d take her other hand off the wheel to ges­ture. More than once she nearly hit a guardrail.

I was so fright­ened I broke into sobs. She re­sponded by laugh­ing at me! Can you give me a tact­ful way to tell her how dan­ger­ous her driv­ing re­ally is? — TER­RI­FIED IN MEM­PHIS

DEAR TER­RI­FIED: No, be­cause it’s ob­vi­ous that your friend is in deep de­nial not only about how dan­ger­ous her driv­ing is, but also about how it af­fects her pas­sen­gers and other driv­ers around her. But I can sug­gest that from now on, YOU pro­vide the trans­porta­tion if you’re go­ing any­place to­gether. You were lucky this time. The next time it could cost you your life.

DEAR ABBY: There is a nice cou­ple we know who make their own wine. They give us a cou­ple of bot­tles a year and ask us to re­turn the emp­ties, which we are happy to do.

We love good wine of all kinds. In years past, we have ap­pre­ci­ated their wine gifts, al­though, to be hon­est, they have been of mar­ginal qual­ity. I usu­ally end up us­ing it for cook­ing.

We just opened their last gift, Abby, and it is so aw­ful I won’t use it even in cook­ing. My hus­band and I are now hav­ing a dis­agree­ment: He says, “Dump it and re­turn the bot­tle with a thank-you.” I say, “Re­turn the left­over wine (mi­nus a 1/4 glass), and say how much we ap­pre­ci­ate the thought, but that it just wasn’t the fla­vor we drink.” I just don’t want them to waste their wine on us and give us any more, as they work hard to make it. Please ad­vise. — NOT A LIAR IN COLORADO

DEAR NOT A LIAR: It might be kin­der to re­turn the empty bot­tle with a note thank­ing them and ask­ing them to please not send you more be­cause you are try­ing to cut back on your al­co­hol con­sump­tion. It’s the truth. The al­co­hol you’re try­ing to cut back on is theirs. ••• Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abigail Van Buren. Con­tact Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069 by Ber­nice Bede Osol

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