DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been together almost 20 years. When we first started dating, I would have an occasional drink. He said he chewed tobacco, but I never saw him do it. We agreed that I wouldn’t drink and he wouldn’t chew. I found out later that he continued to do it about twice a year. I feel misled.

He doesn’t want me to drink because of some incidents with his family when he was young. I’ve pointed out to him that this is controlling, but he insists it’s not. There are times I would like to have a drink at family celebrations, and I can’t and it’s awkward. Should I really be held to something I agreed to when I was a young 20-something? — UNDER CONTROL IN NEW MEXICO

DEAR UNDER CONTROL: It may be time to revisit that deal you made with your husband. If he reneged, you are free to do as you wish. If these “incidents” involved his family, they have nothing to do with yours. And you should not be prevented from enjoying an alcoholic beverage at your family celebrations when you like.

Jeanne Phillips


DEAR ABBY: Several years ago, my teenage nephew “Jim” gave my younger son his collection of trading cards. He’d outgrown the game, and my son was just starting to get interested. Before Jim gave them away, my brother (his dad) suggested that some of the cards might be valuable and that Jim should check before giving them away. Instead, Jim decided to hand them all over.

It turns out that part of the collection is quite valuable, and we could sell them for a significant sum. I’m inclined to do that and put the proceeds toward my son’s college fund, which would really help us out. The question is, should I split it and send half to my nephew? Usually a gift is the recipient’s to do with as they’d like, but Jim was just a kid with a kind heart when he made this gift, and he was thinking more about playing the game than about money. He’s out of school now with no debt and is established in a job. What do you think? — ACT OF KINDNESS

DEAR ACT OF KINDNESS: Jim doesn’t need the money from the sale of those cards, but it could make a big difference to your son. Since you asked for my opinion, I would suggest you at least offer a portion of the money to Jim.


DEAR ABBY: My daughter is married to a very nice man, but he’s a know-it-all. When we have a conversation, he is always “right” and disregards my point of view. I know my daughter is upset by it but, of course, she takes his side. I have tried to be close with him, but he cannot take a joke or let anyone have an opinion that differs from his. They have two beautiful children I love watching twice a week. What can I do? — NEVER RIGHT IN THE WEST

DEAR NEVER RIGHT: What you should do is start dwelling on the positive. Thank your lucky stars that the know-it-all is a good husband and father. Accept that you will probably never be closer to him than you are now, and derive your enjoyment from watching your beautiful grandchildren.


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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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