2011-11-23 / Et Cetera

Dear Abby

Jeanne Phillips

DEAR ABBY: I’m a freshman in college and have the sweetest boyfriend in the world. We’ve always been close and trusted each other, never pushing the other too far. I always thought it was innocent and safe.

Last weekend, though, things got a little heavy between us. We stopped before anything happened, but I felt dirty afterward. As I thought about it, I realized that, to me, it had seemed OK that our relationship was starting to take a more intimate turn.

Is it wrong for me to think this way? I don’t know how to bring up the “sex talk” with him without seeming desperate or like I’m rushing things. What should I do?

NEEDS TO KNOW

IN VIRGINIA

DEAR NEEDS TO KNOW: You and your boyfriend are normal, healthy young adults. If this is the first time you and a young man have gotten “a little heavy,” then it’s not surprising that you felt conflicted, depending upon how you were raised to think about premarital relations.

However, because you have now progressed to the point of physical intimacy, it is important that you and your boyfriend talk about last weekend and what may happen in the future. Share your feelings and ask how HE feels about what happened and what he would like to happen going forward. That’s not desperate or rushing things — that is communication. True intimacy involves the mutual sharing of thoughts and feelings in a relationship.

DEAR ABBY: A few weeks ago, my wife returned from a business meeting out of town. After unpacking, she took a bath. I happened into the bathroom just as she finished drying off. When she saw me, she grabbed a towel and held it over her shoulder and breast, but not before I spotted a hickey and bruise on her chest.

When I asked her about the hickey, she said she had no idea what had caused it. After that, she refused to discuss the matter. The hickey faded and disappeared after two or three weeks.

Yesterday she agreed to take a polygraph test, but how do we go about arranging one? Your thoughts?

TROUBLED HUSBAND

IN TEXAS

DEAR TROUBLED HUSBAND: If your marriage is on such thin ice that you need a lie detector test to determine if your wife is telling the truth, you may need the services of a family law specialist.

You asked my opinion, and here it is: From my perspective, you and your wife could benefit more from some truth sessions with a marriage counselor than with a polygraph examiner. However, one way to find a polygraph examiner would be to Google “polygraph examiners in Texas.” Another would be to consult an attorney about a referral.

And now, Dear Readers, allow me to again share the traditional Thanksgiving Prayer that was penned by my dear mother, Pauline Phillips. No Thanksgiving would be complete for me without it:

Oh, Heavenly Father,

We thank Thee for food and remember the hungry.

We thank Thee for health and remember the sick.

We thank Thee for freedom and remember the enslaved.

May these remembrances stir us to service,

That Thy gifts to us may be used for others. Amen.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Love, ABBY

Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

DEAR ABBY: A while back you asked your readers to name their heroes. May I contribute?

My heroes are nameless, often faceless and in most cases unsung. They will never have 15 minutes of fame. Their deeds won’t be recorded in history books, but their kindness inspires and their good deeds will forever affect the lives of others — though some may not realize it.

My heroes are parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, foster parents, teachers, playground monitors and crossing guards who teach others to have values and common sense, and to be ethical in their treatment of others.

My heroes are young girls who spend a year grooming and conditioning their hair, then cut it off so it may be given to a child who has none; those who pick up trash along the highways and byways to keep America clean; police officers who stop you because you’ve done something stupid, then let you go because they know you made an honest mistake and you’ll be sure not to do it again.

My heroes are the guys on the garbage truck who take a few extra seconds to pick up the items that didn’t make it into the truck and make sure your receptacle is upright and undamaged before moving on to the next house; grownups who hold children’s hands in parking lots to keep them safe; teachers who stay after school to help a student struggling with homework, a troubled home life or homelessness.

My heroes are strangers on streets and in buildings who take a moment to ask if they can help you because of the uncertain expression on your face; every shelter worker who has ever cried when a homeless or abused creature was euthanized; my dear father, whose strong hands, often bruised and bloodied, made a living for his family, who gently held his frightened little girl and who often shared more than he could afford with others less fortunate than he. These are my heroes.

JULIE IN

SCOTT CITY, MO.

DEAR JULIE: Thank you for taking the time to describe your many heroes. On this day of all days, let us all give thanks for those individuals who have made — and continue to make — a positive difference in our lives.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Love, ABBY

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, “Louis,” is retired. I’m in school studying law, which means heavy reading assignments, tons of projects and a tremendous amount of homework. It’s like a full-time job.

At night when I should be studying, Louis gets upset if I don’t knock off by 9 or 9:30. He also gets upset if I start before 9 in the morning. He has never asked me what I need from him to help me accomplish what I have to do. He also never asks what I’m doing in my classes without turning around and accusing me of doing the professor’s job. This pattern is repeated several times a week, his blowing up because I don’t spend more time with him and less on my studies.

Abby, this man insists he has never been so much in love, and that’s why he wants to spend so much time with me. I think he should show his love by supporting me in challenging times. Your opinion?

ROSE IN WASHINGTON

DEAR ROSE: Your boyfriend is self- centered. He’s clearly less interested in your interests than in his own. Law school is challenging, even when a student doesn’t have someone trying to sabotage her efforts — which Louis appears to be doing morning and night. You have an important decision to make about your future, because your law degree is likely to last longer than your relationship with Louis, and that’s what I think you should put first even if it means ending the “romance.”

Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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