DEAR ABBY: It seems the moment we got married a year ago, my husband promptly started gaining weight and adopting horrible habits. He has put on more than 100 pounds. I don’t want to nag him, but the magnitude of his bad habits is making me contemplate divorce.
If he hasn’t learned things like “garbage goes into the garbage can” or “aim for the bowl” by his age, is there any hope? Should I let him know our marriage may be in trouble? — STILL A NEWLYWED IN UTAH
DEAR STILL A NEWLYWED: Are you telling me that you have sat in silence for an entire year while witnessing major changes in your husband’s behavior since the wedding? Something may be wrong with him, and he should be examined stem-to-stern by a doctor. Your husband may have a serious problem, and it follows that if he does, your marriage will, too. So for both your sakes, speak up, schedule him for a physical and try to remember that line you uttered regarding “in sickness and in health.”
DEAR ABBY: I have been dating “Irving” for about a year. He is intelligent, financially stable and loves me and my son. However, over the last seven or eight months he has said some things that have hurt me very much. For instance, he has told me to watch what I say around his business associates, and when he thinks I have been too loud around them, he tells me afterward — almost in a fatherly tone — that I need to keep it low key.
He isn’t the most sensitive or compassionate man I have ever met, and I find those to be important qualities in a mate. Irving has also made comments about my weight — specifically, that he doesn’t want me to gain any.
Some of my friends are telling me to drop him, but I have invested a year in this guy and I hate to think it was for nothing. He’s been talking marriage, and in the beginning I was excited. Now, I’m not so sure it’s a good idea. Can you help? — CAUTIOUS IN TENNESSEE
DEAR CAUTIOUS: If you’re looking for a supportive mate, Irving doesn’t appear to be the man for you. To stay with him because you have invested 12 months in the relationship is not sufficient reason to invest still more time. Face it, his tone may be “fatherly,” but he’s not your father, and he’ll always be critical.
DEAR ABBY: We will visit my in-laws for the holidays next December with our new baby. We stay in a hotel when we visit because the in-laws are both chain smokers and I am a non-smoker who is sensitive to smoke. This has created some distance between my in-laws and me. When we have visited in the past I resigned myself to the fact that they will smoke through our dinners and conversations.
Now that we have a little one, I do not want my in-laws to smoke in front of the baby. They don’t visit us; we visit them once a year. Can I ask that they not smoke in their home while my family is visiting? — MICHELE IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
DEAR MICHELE: No. And even if your in-laws agreed, taking your baby into a house in which the carpets, walls and furniture are saturated with smoke would be counterproductive. When you visit, arrange your get- togethers at your hotel or in the home of other relatives who are non-smokers. Out of love for their grandchild, your in-laws should cooperate. If you need backup in making the request, discuss this with your baby’s pediatrician and get the facts and statistics about how damaging first-, second- and third-hand smoke is on a little one’s respiratory system.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.