Dear Abby: My sister has children younger than mine, but the kids all play together frequently. She recently caught them involved in a game of “truth or dare” and a couple of the kids had no clothes on.
While I was surprised to hear it and have spoken to my children about it, it seems to me to be one of those games that kids play. My sister insists it’s about dominance and sex and refuses to let my kids play with hers any longer.
I’m heartbroken over her reaction and don’t know how to respond. We barely speak anymore. What do you think?
Just a Game?
Dear Just a Game: Whether what happened was because of natural curiosity or about “dominance” would depend on the ages of the children involved. Not allowing the children to play together again seems like an overreaction, but a serious discussion about boundaries should certainly have taken place after the incident.
Dear Abby: I started dating my childhood sweetheart when we were in high school. I’m now in college.
My dreams and goals have always been to move from our small town to a big city in another state. The problem is my boyfriend, “Clay,” never wants to leave here. He isn’t even interested in travel, which is something I would love to do.
I have stayed in our hometown for him. Everyone in my family thinks he’s holding me back and isn’t being fair. He may not be perfect, but he does make me happy.
I now have an opportunity to move, but Clay refuses to go. Should I go anyway, regardless of what it does to our relationship? Do I take the risk of being happy in a new city by myself, or stay where I know what the ending will be?
In Smalltown, U.S.A.
Dear Stuck: All of life is a risk. Please listen to your family. I think you know in your heart that you need to experience a little independence. If you don’t take advantage of the opportunity you have been given, you will indeed be “Stuck in Smalltown, U.S.A.” Forever.
Dear Abby: My wife and I have been married for 10 years. She is a Realtor and I’m a maintenance worker. I work eight hours a day, five days a week and sometimes on weekends and overtime when needed.
My wife thinks that when I’m off on weekends I should be working around the house. I have tried telling her that those are my days off to do what I prefer or just relax. I do maintenance work all week, and then she expects me to do it on weekends, too? I don’t mind it occasionally, but with her it’s every weekend. I feel like getting a divorce because of her never-ending demands.
I also play in a band with my friends on Sunday evenings. It’s only once a week, but she gives me flak about that, too. I’m at work 40 hours a week and with her every evening except Sunday. I don’t fish, play golf, hang out at bars, chase women or have any other hobbies. How can I get her to understand?
Wants to Relax
Dear Wants: Have you told your wife you feel like divorcing her because of her never-ending demands? It might be a way to get her attention.
Tell her that you’re willing to fix things around the house one or two days a month, but if her punch list requires more than that, she should hire someone.
And as to your playing in the band — invite her to come and listen if she wants, but make it plain that you don’t intend to stop.
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.