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ABIGAIL VAN BUREN AND JEANNE PHILLIPS


Dear Abby: My friend "Kayla" and I are 12 and in seventh grade. Recently, Kayla informed me that she has acquired a new boyfriend. I didn't mind when she showed me all his lovey-dovey texts. I thought they were adorable.When I asked Kayla why her boyfriend didn't sit with us at lunch, she laughed and said, "Oh, he doesn't go to school here. He's a junior in high …

Dear Abby: I'm a 25-year-old woman with no future. I am the youngest of three daughters. My parents are divorced, and my sisters are both married. Mom has no income of her own, so it's mainly me.I have come to realize that I'll never be able to have an apartment of my own or fully live my life because of her. She's controlling and always finds a way to make me fe…

Dear Abby: After 19 years of marriage, my husband left me for a younger woman. I found out later that they had been dating for several years. They moved in together immediately after our separation, and she was pregnant at the divorce hearing. They had a baby boy eight months later.At every event with my kids, they come together with their son and she steers the …

Dear Abby: My boyfriend and I have been living together for nine months. We have decided to host Christmas dinner at our house and invited 20 people -- 10 from each of our families. His mother, unfortunately, is having a hard time accepting that her 27-year-old son is growing up.She says she feels "awkward" and that their family has had its traditions for many ye…

Dear Abby: I am an educated woman in my late 20s. I have been married for several years to a wonderful man, and we were recently blessed with our first child.Since our wedding, my relationship with my mother-in-law has been an evolving one. Since the inception of "Desperate Housewives" on TV, she seems to believe she's a character on the show. She trots around in…

Dear Abby: I recently met a man I love dearly, but I don't agree with the toys he buys for his 10-year-old son, "Dale." The boy plays violent video games and is obsessed with guns to the point that we can't leave the house without him bringing a toy gun along. The video games he plays (unsupervised) are violent and gory and rated M (17 and over).Dale is not matur…

Dear Abby: My husband and I have been married for eight years and are amazed that most of our married friends are unable to separate for even a night.I was raised in a household where my parents took time for themselves -- whether it was my dad's high school reunion that Mom had no interest in, or my mom's personal growth seminars that Dad was slow to accept. It …

Dear Abby: I want you to know how much I agree with your answer to "Paying for My Popcorn in Oregon" (Sept. 15), who complained about her niece sneaking food into the theater.I used to teach a parenting class to parents who had kids in trouble with the law. I started out by asking, "How many of you teach your children to lie, cheat or steal?" Of course nobody adm…

Dear Abby: I have recently found out that I'm pregnant. My problem is my husband doesn't believe the baby is his. He says he and his ex tried for 13 years to have a baby and couldn't.I don't know what to say to him. I can't explain his past with that other woman. My doctor has ordered rest and no stress, but this is taking a toll on me. When the subject comes up, I…

Dear Abby: What is a wife to do? My husband occasionally pitches in to help me prepare holiday meals. He prides himself on his dishwashing skills, but when he's done I have to rewash most of the pots and pans because he doesn't check his work. If I ask him to redo them, he reacts as though it's a criticism and has an over-the-top fit.Can you provide a strategy th…

Dear Abby: My longtime friend Jim had a stroke several years ago. His wife was struggling to keep him at home while working, taking care of the house, cooking and doing other endless chores. She even found it difficult to get out of the house for a haircut. She confided to me the hurt she felt when friends never followed through on their general offers of assista…

Dear Abby: I am recently widowed. Men I work with and the husbands of some of my friends have been hitting on me. They'll ask me out for a meal, give me big hugs -- and a couple of them have even kissed me on the mouth.I don't lead them on, and besides, I'm a chubby great-grandmother. What drives men to do this? Do they think they're "consoling" me? When these th…

Dear Abby: Twenty-four years ago, the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and Energizer spotted a disturbing trend. Many fatalities were taking place in homes without working smoke alarms. In response, the "Change Your Clock Change Your Battery" campaign was developed to remind people to test and change their smoke alarm batteries each fall when they …

Dear Abby: Seven years ago, when I was 25, I quit a good job before I had a new one. Hard times ultimately led to my husband and me divorcing. I went back to school and am now starting a new career. But I can't help but feel that if I had not quit my job years back, I'd be established in a career by now and still be married.I never listened to anyone back then, alt…

Dear Abby: My 87-year-old mother recently discovered that the mausoleum site she had reserved for herself next to my father's grave -- and paid for when he died -- was occupied by my uncle's ashes and headstone. Mom had moved away 20 years ago and had not visited the cemetery in all that time.My cousin's explanation, when confronted by my tearful mom, was that it…