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Lifestyle Columnist

Being a good listener is the best way to be heard

Dear Abby: I am responding to “Tired of Talking to Myself” (Feb. 13), whose husband’s ears slam shut when she begins to speak. This is not a problem that’s exclusive to men. Women do it as well. As a retired PA (physician’s assistant), when talking with patients, I would refer to it as selective hearing loss.

Husband’s caring ministry doesn’t extend to his wife

Dear Abby: I have been married to the same man for 20 years. He likes having people around ALL the time, and because he is a minister, we often can’t avoid it. I have tried to accommodate his friends and hangers-on, but lately it’s becoming unbearable. He will say “yes” to people who have been evicted, and I find myself sharing living quarters with perfect strangers or church members without prior notice.

Sister getting married opts out of all-inclusive affair

Dear Abby: My only sister, “Carolyn,” is getting married in two months. I’m ecstatic for her. She and her girlfriend turned 50 this year, and this is the happiest I have ever seen her. They are perfect together. Carolyn asked me to be her maid of honor and I gladly accepted. I am also decorating for her small wedding and reception.

Adopted teen can’t shake anger felt for birth mother

Dear Abby: I am almost 13 and I’m struggling with a lot of different things. I was adopted when I was a baby, so I never lived with my birth mother. That’s probably a good thing, but I am having angry feelings toward her that I wish I wouldn’t have. Those feelings are also being directed at friends and family members.

Why is organized religion important?

Rabbi Mark H. Levin, Congregation Beth Torah founding rabbi, Overland Park, Kan: People often say that the world would be better off without religion. Unfortunately, that’s like saying that the world would be better off without breathing, a necessity for life.

‘Dear Abby’ dinner promises good food and good times

Dear Abby: We have enjoyed an international dinner club with three other couples for many years. Besides an international theme, we occasionally have other theme dinners. The host couple chooses the country and is responsible for the main course. Another couple brings an associated entree, the third couple brings dessert and the fourth couple provides the wine. We rotate responsibilities so we host only once every four months.

Dad getting divorce applauds mom’s devotion to their son

Dear Abby: My wife and I will be legally divorced within a few weeks. We have a 1-year-old son. Although we have been separated for eight months, she is an awesome mother to our son. A man could not ask for a better lady to care for his child. We don’t talk about much other than our son. We are no longer in love, but I can honestly say I love her for who she is — the mother of my child.

Teen fears she will regret not choosing another path

Dear Abby: I have been dating “Brandon” for three years. I’m 19, going to a four-year college and I’m planning to move in with him. I enjoy his company and can see myself with him in the future, but I wish I hadn’t met him so young. I wish I could have experienced more — other people and situations. I’m afraid I’m falling into a trap where it is more convenient to stay with Brandon.

Couple encounters rough seas over gift of cruise vacation

Dear Abby: I represented my daughter “Stacy” and her husband as their real estate agent. When any of my children purchase a home, I waive my commission. My daughter knew I had been trying to finance a trip to South America for my husband so he could complete his “bucket list.” She gave me a cruise on one of the most expensive cruise lines and airfare to South America as a gift for helping with their home purchase.