I am a 24-year-old male who has been in a relationship with a great woman, "Hayley," for three years. She has excellent qualities, a good job, she's super loving and would be a wonderful wife someday.
My family loves Hayley - but my buddies don't, and it is causing me to have mixed feelings.
Some days I love her, but on others I want to break up. Then I think of how fantastic our lives would be together.
It's weird, because Hayley doesn't change her personality - it's totally my issue. I'm scared that if I break up with her it could be the worst mistake of my life, and I'll regret it.
Please give me some guidance and point me in the right direction to find the love I have for her.
- Sensitive Guy, Milwaukee
DEAR SENSITIVE GUY: Hayley may make a wonderful wife someday, but from your letter, you are nowhere near ready for marriage.
Mature love doesn't blow hot and cold, and the feelings you finally experience for the woman you marry won't be dictated by the impression she makes on your buddies.
If you need me to point you in the right direction to "find" the love you have for Hayley, then I don't think it is there to begin with.
And the honorable thing to do is to level with her.
DEAR ABBY: When I was 6, my stepfather molested me repeatedly. He served seven years in prison, got lots of therapy and came out a much better man.
I am now 20, and he recently e-mailed me and apologized for everything.
I forgave him a long time ago and let him know. We are now on speaking terms via e-mail only, but my boyfriend, my best friend and my mother all think I'm stupid for forgiving him.
Abby, what should I tell these people?
- Forgiving in Seattle
DEAR FORGIVING: Tell them that carrying a load of hatred and resentment toward your abuser was more of a burden than forgiving him. However, forgiving your molester doesn't mean that you must have a continuing dialogue with him.
I find it extremely inappropriate that he's trying to insinuate himself into your life now. If you have any intention of allowing it, I urge you to first discuss it with a psychotherapist who specializes in sexual impulse disorders.
Although you are no longer a child, one day you might have one.
Forewarned is forearmed.
DEAR ABBY: My wife and I are expecting our first child in a few weeks. While we couldn't be more excited, one thing is really eating at me.
When discussing what our parents should be called - like "Grandma," "Nanny," "Gramps," etc. - my father-in-law said he wants to be called "Pop."
I think the name "Pop" is for a dad, not a grandfather - like in "a Mom and Pop business." I recommended "Pop-Pop," but they told me that name was already being used in the family.
Other than on this issue, my in-laws and I get along great.
I know it seems petty, but are there any grandfathers out there who are called "Pop"?
Do you have any suggestions for any other names?
Or should I not make a big deal of this?
- Call Me Daddy, Port Jervis, N.Y.
DEAR DADDY: Congratulations on your pending paternity, but please don't do too much preplanning regarding the name game. These things have a way of working themselves out, so don't sweat the small stuff.
When your little one reaches the talking stage, it's very possible that he or she will call the grandfather by a name that he or she invents. *