Dear Abby | Fabulous first date leads to loveless marriage trap
DEAR ABBY: I met a man online I thought was wonderful. OK, I'll be honest. I wanted a quick roll in the hay - nothing serious. The guy turned out to be a college dropout, deeply spiritual and a great conversationalist, and we quickly started dating.
Fast-forward six months. I feel trapped in a loveless marriage. The sex is almost nonexistent. He has OCD, and because of it, he is afraid to leave the house, get a job, go to the doctor or be naked. What kind of man is afraid of being naked in PRIVATE? He is amply endowed, fit and very attractive.
I'm at my wits' end. He needs professional help, which he refuses to get. I know he has a mental illness, so I'm trying my hardest to be sympathetic and understanding, but what am I to do? - NEEDING MORE IN LOUISIANA
DEAR NEEDING MORE: By being sympathetic and understanding, you are enabling your husband to resist getting the help he needs. Give him an ultimatum: He gets professional help for his OCD or the marriage is over. You have nothing to lose by doing this and everything to gain because, if he gets the help he needs, your problem will be solved. And if he doesn't, you will possibly avoid having a child with a man who will be unable to support it financially.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for six months. Our birthdays fall two days apart. His birthday is first, and we were invited to his parents' for dinner and cake. He received many gifts from his family.
For convenience, his brother gave us ONE card with $200 cash in it that was meant for both of us. (My husband always gives his sister-in-law a gift on her birthday.) My husband took the cash and put it in his pocket without acknowledging that half of it was meant for me.
A couple days later, my birthday came around. This time we went to dinner with my family. After dinner, my parents gave each of us a present. He went home with some new clothes and cologne. Do I have a right to be mad that his brother's gift to both of us went only to him? - PLENTY MAD IN ILLINOIS
DEAR PLENTY MAD: Of course you do. That money should have been split 50-50. But you're complaining to the wrong person. You should be saying it to your husband. Because you have been married only six months, perhaps he isn't used to the concept of marriage being about the two of you. Straighten that out with him now.
P.S. Convenience or not, your brother-in-law should have given you separate gifts.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a freshman in high school, and it's great. I've made a lot of new friends, but most of them are guys. For some reason, they think I'm this girly-girl type who doesn't like to get my hands dirty. When it's time to do something that involves lifting, they think they have to take over. If they ever saw me at home, they'd think I was a whole different person. How can I show to them I'm not a girly-girl while still being friends with them? - NO GIRLY-GIRL
DEAR NO GIRLY-GIRL: Here's how. The next time one of them says, "Let me do it for you," all you have to say is, "No, thank you." Then do the heavy lifting yourself. Word gets around.