DEAR ABBY: My 70-year-old father has asked his 40-year- old girlfriend to marry him. This will be his fourth marriage. They have been dating for a year, and she says she wants to have two or three children with him.

My sisters and I are not happy at all. Our father was a horrible father when we were growing up. To say he doesn’t like children is putting it mildly. Also, we feel he would be incredibly selfish and irresponsible to consider bringing a baby into this world at his age when he may not be around long enough to take care of the child.

Do my sisters and I have a right to be upset about this? How would you suggest we handle this? — DISGUSTED DAUGHTERS IN TEXAS

DEAR DAUGHTERS: Do you have a right to be upset? You absolutely have a right to your feelings and opinions. However, as an adult, your father is entitled to do as he wishes, regardless of how you feel about his choices. “Handle” this as gracefully as possible without shooting your mouths off unless you want to create a permanent rift.

DEAR ABBY: I have been married to my wife almost 40 years. I love her dearly and she says she loves me, but when I want to hold her, she tenses up like I’m a rapist. When I kiss her longer than a nano-second, she makes noises that sound as though I have a pillow over her face. We haven’t slept in the same bed in so long I can’t remember what it’s like. When I try to talk to her about it, she ignores me. How can I get her to realize how much I hurt? — LONELY AND HURT IN MIDDLE GRANVILLE, N.Y.

DEAR LONELY AND HURT: Your wife’s hormones may have changed and sex may be painful for her or no longer appealing. She may be afraid that if she lets you hold her, or kiss her longer than a nano-second, it would imply she is receptive. You need to explain to her how deeply her lack of communication on this subject has hurt you. She should have discussed this with her doctor when the problem started. But if she refuses, then you should both talk to a marriage counselor. If she won’t go, go alone.

DEAR ABBY: A couple of years ago we loaned our nephew “Seth” $400 because he was in a tight spot. The amount was something we could afford to lose, but knowing the pitfalls of lending to a relative, we formalized the loan with a written agreement for repayment. We never saw the money again.

We have just received a wedding invitation from Seth. We’re not particularly close to him, and because we live across the country we don’t plan to attend the wedding.

In lieu of a wedding gift, would it be inappropriate to send a note forgiving some or all of the debt he owes us? Or should we consider the debt and his wedding separately and send him something more traditional? — UNCLE MIKE IN UTAH

DEAR UNCLE MIKE: Because you are not particularly close to this nephew, are not planning to attend the wedding and it’s unlikely that Seth will repay the loan, send him a congratulatory card.

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.

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