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Differences are causing anxiety

Dear Abby: "Seth" and I have been going out for almost three years. We have been engaged for a year and I love him, but every time he talks about living together or getting married, I get so nervous that I suffer anxiety attacks.

We have differences when it comes to handling money, keeping the house in order and having pets. We also argued about a pre-nup agreement. Seth won't change his position on it and I'm still resentful. I'm worried that if we live together I'll end up with his debts.

We're both divorced with kids. We have a good relationship except for my fear of going to the next level.

-- Skittish in Canada

Dear Skittish: You and Seth have significant areas of disagreement, and they are ones that could affect the outcome of your relationship. That's why it is important for you to seek premarital counseling to see if they can be worked out. If they can't be, then you and Seth need to find different partners, because the issues upon which you differ are deal-breakers, and the last thing either of you -- or your children -- need is another divorce.

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Weight comment hurtful

Dear Abby: I am a man who has tried to lose weight for my health and failed. I am trying again now and have lost 40 pounds. A couple of years ago I did the same thing, and then before I knew it I gained it all back.

A co-worker said, "You look good with the weight loss, but do you think you'll be able to keep it off this time?" I had no idea what to say. I told him we all have our vices, but I am trying. Abby, the comment hurt my feelings. How would you suggest handling the situation?

-- Smaller in New Hampshire

Dear Smaller: Your co-worker's comment was thoughtless. But if he brings up the subject again, tell him how it made you feel the first time he did, and that your weight problem is really none of his business.

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