Different approaches to religion are likely to drive couple apart
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