DEAR ABBY: After a marriage of many years, I have come to realize that ours has become simply one of convenience.
My husband is a negative and controlling person who gripes about everything and anything. He has developed no friendships or interests of his own, and I have to battle with him to even have a day to myself.
How many other women are like me - stuck in loveless marriages without the resources to live on our own (at least in the lifestyle we are accustomed to)?
Any advice for me?
- In Limbo Out West
DEAR IN LIMBO: If my mail is any indication, you have lots of company in your boat.
Many women stay because they are afraid to live alone or see nothing better on the horizon.
No third party can or should answer this question for you.
Make a list of the pros and cons of your marriage, tally them up and weigh the "cons" against how you feel living the life you are living now.
A licensed counselor may be able to steer you in the right direction - which may entail marriage counseling and/or consulting a lawyer or your CPA about what other options you may have.
Facing the music
DEAR ABBY: I'm a busy sixth-grader who has played piano for seven years. But my busy schedule gets in the way of piano because I have to prep for competitions. I love the piano, but I still need to keep up with my school schedule.
If I tell my grandma I want to quit piano, she'll be disappointed. I already quit violin in orchestra.
So this means my music life will be over.
Should I still do it or not?
- Stressed-Out Musician
DEAR MUSICIAN: Unless your music causes your grades to drop, continue with the piano for as long as you can.
There may come a time when other things must take precedence, but you never can tell how beneficial your musical education may be when you're an adult.
You're an intelligent young woman, so let me share this true story with you: A man here in Los Angeles studied classical piano for many years. He had talent, but didn't consider himself good enough to make it his career. He married, went to law school, passed the bar - and wound up becoming one of the most successful lawyers in town representing entertainers.
You never can tell where life may lead, so the more talents you nourish, the wider your options will be.
A junior moment
DEAR ABBY: My husband demands we give our first child the name "Junior" as his legal first name, supposedly to honor the baby's paternal grandpa, who is also called Junior.
I am vehemently opposed to it because Jr. is a title, not a name, and also because Grandpa is a notorious drunk, criminal and adulterer.
I am open to any other name my husband may want, but he won't budge.
Who should win out?
- Due Soon in Syracuse
DEAR DUE SOON: You should!
Naming a child after someone is supposed to be an honor, and from your description, your father-in-law isn't someone who deserves one.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.