DEAR ABBY: I’m a single mom. I have a man in my life who I have been with for almost four years. He went through a bad divorce during the time we got together, and anytime I try to mention marriage in the future, he gets upset. I’m unsure what to do or how to respond anymore.
I know my kids aren’t his, so he owes us nothing, but I need more stability and the assurance that if something were to happen to him, we would be OK. I’m 35 and have never had the chance to get married, only to find out that he never wants to get married. So what do I do? — MYSTIFIED IN MINNESOTA
DEAR MYSTIFIED: Talk to your significant other. Keep the conversation calm and tell him what you wrote to me. Add to it that after four years, he should know by now what your needs are and that he can trust you — but you need stability for your kids’ sakes and your own. If he can’t bring himself to make another trip to the altar, a trip to a lawyer’s office might yield an agreement that meets your needs and his. However, if he refuses to consider it, then what you must do is move on.
DEAR ABBY: I attend a Bible study. The man who teaches it is very gifted, but he spends more and more time on anecdotal stories about his past in the business world. Some of us drive long distances to his class. When we broached the subject, he got an attitude. He told us to “suck it up and get used to it,” which, needless to say, rudely closed the door on the conversation.
How can we get across to him that we LOVE his Bible teaching, but we don’t want to hear all his backstory stuff, especially since many of us have heard these stories over and over? — LOVES THE GOOD BOOK
DEAR LOVES: What this teacher has told you is that he has no intention of changing his routine. Because his patter doesn’t entertain you and interferes with your enlightenment, as well as other members of the class, let those who are willing to tolerate his blather continue his Bible study and business course, while the rest of you move forward with another, less egotistical instructor.
DEAR ABBY: I have reached a place in life where I’m getting older and have more money than I need. My husband and I want to give to our nieces, nephews and some cousins who we know are struggling financially. Do you have any suggestions on how to do this without being insulting?
Some of the nieces are quite well off, while others are a car repair away from not being able to pay their mortgage. Giving the same amounts seems fair in one way, but their needs are very different. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. We are also giving to charities we support, but would like to be able to help family. — HELPING OUR OWN IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
DEAR HELPING: This is something you should discuss with your financial adviser or your attorney. Your reasoning is sound, but keep in mind that unequal bequests can be problematic for the recipients in the long run.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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Author: Jeanne Phillips