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Dear Abby: Couple's polar politics threaten mutual respect

DEAR ABBY: I have been in a relationship with my college boyfriend for 2 1/2 years. We have had our share of struggles, but worked through most of them over time.


I have been in a relationship with my college boyfriend for 2 1/2 years. We have had our share of struggles, but worked through most of them over time.

Lately, our polar opposite political views have driven a wedge between us. I feel we are losing respect for each other as well as our sense of intimacy and love.

How can we learn to have a mutual respect for our different political opinions while not compromising what each truly believes?

- Riding a Seesaw in Miami

DEAR RIDING A SEESAW: Begin by accepting that not all couples are in lockstep when it comes to their political beliefs. It is easier when you have respect for each other in other areas of your relationship. Then remember that when it comes to voting, individuals are not joined at the hip. And if that doesn't work, follow the example set by James Carville and Mary Matalin, a high-profile, politically disparate couple whose differences haven't driven them apart.

DEAR ABBY: Every time I go out with a man who says he wants a woman who treats him well and doesn't play around, I get burned. I'm not a game player, and I end up tripping over my feelings every single time. I give every guy the benefit of the doubt, and I'm the one who is always disappointed!

At 29, I am contemplating life with eight cats and a set of knitting needles because I have finally had it with dating. Aren't there any men who actually mean what they say anymore?

- Stephanie in Houston

DEAR STEPHANIE: I'm tempted to say no, that all the good ones are married off - but it wouldn't be true. So here's what I'm recommending: Start asking your friends of both sexes what you may be doing to attract men who hurt you or flake out.

When a woman is repeatedly hurt because she gives every guy "the benefit of the doubt," it's because she's attracting the wrong people.

DEAR ABBY: A few years ago my husband and I took in a family member's infant daughter until a time when her mother could get back on her feet. That time never came, and we went through the process of adoption. We have been a happy family ever since.

I am now pregnant for the first time. Several friends and relatives have offered to throw us a shower. I am unsure of the proper etiquette since this is our second child (but our first biological child).

My husband and I don't want to seem to be asking for anything, especially if having a shower for a second baby is considered improper. But we have never had a chance to experience the fun side of a pregnancy. I would appreciate your thoughts.

- First-Time Pregnant,

Second-Time Mom

DEAR FIRST-TIME PREGNANT: I see no reason that there shouldn't be a shower for your baby. It's a lovely way to celebrate the new life you are bringing into the world.

However, according to Emily Post: "Mothers and sisters of the mother-to-be should NOT give the shower. Naturally, mothers and sisters should be invited, but as with any other gift-giving event, they should not initiate an invitation that bears an obligation on the part of the recipient to provide a present to direct relatives."

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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.