DEAR ABBY: I'm a 19-year-old male and suffer from a predicament. Let's just say my "package has been delivered undersized." It is depressing, and it has held me back from going after girls. I decline dates because I feel so self-conscious.
Now, people are starting to ask me why I haven't had a girlfriend yet. The truth is, I'm terrified about the reaction I'll get if I ever end up in the bedroom. I'm still a virgin because of this large (yet small) dilemma. Do you have any advice on what I should do to fix this? — SMALL PROBLEM IN THE USA
DEAR SMALL PROBLEM: As a matter of fact, I do. Males (and females, too) come in a variety of sizes, and there is a broad range that defines "normal." Because this bothers you to the extent that you are afraid of a normal social life, pay a visit to your doctor to have an honest discussion. Size does not necessarily dictate the degree of satisfaction a couple can achieve, and you can take that statement to the bank.
DEAR ABBY: My wife and I are 70, married 44 years and have one adult child. My wife has four friends she meets for coffee once a month. One of them mentioned at the gathering how proud I am of our son, who has lost 80 pounds due to a disciplined change in his lifestyle. My wife was embarrassed that I told her friend. I thought it was a good thing. My wife said it made her look bad in the eyes of her friends, who all portray their children as without-blemish-perfect. I told my wife I thought she was very insecure. I am confused about her reaction. Can you give me any insight? — IT'S A GOOD THING
DEAR GOOD THING: You did nothing wrong. Your son's achievement is significant and to be applauded. Your wife may have preferred her friends not know that her son had a severe weight problem, although if they are all "good" friends and any of them had seen him, it would have been obvious. Not knowing your wife, I can't offer more insight than that.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for only a few months, and I think he is already losing interest. He has stopped saying I love you and hasn't kissed me or given me any affection in weeks. I'm afraid he is falling out of love with me, although I have done everything possible to keep the love flowing. Am I doing something wrong, or am I becoming unattractive? Please tell me what to do, Abby. I really want to save this marriage. — DESPERATE WIFE
DEAR DESPERATE: Rather than try to read your husband's mind or guess the reason for his change in behavior, ask him calmly about it. His change in behavior may have nothing to do with you or the state of your marriage. He may be stressed about something, but you will never know unless you ask.
DEAR ABBY: My friend of 30 years had knee replacement surgery 15 years ago. She is fully recovered, goes to the gym three days each week and walks three miles on the treadmill. She still has (and gets renewed each doctor visit) her handicap parking card. Whenever we go anywhere and park, she always whips out her card and uses the handicap parking spots, even when there are multiple other spots available.
She's extremely religious, and I cannot understand how she doesn't realize this is morally wrong. I have spoken to her about it, but she still does it. I am not a perfect person either, but this really bothers me. What do you think? — STYMIED IN THE SOUTH
DEAR STYMIED: I think your friend should be ashamed of herself for abusing the privilege. And I also think the doctor who is aiding and abetting her in this fraud is equally at fault.
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year. He's amazing, and I can see myself marrying him and having a family one day. There is only one problem. We are healthy in our arguments except when his job is brought up. He's applying to go into the police academy.
I have always told people I would never be with a cop because of my own anxiety. We fight about this all the time, and while I don't ask him to find something else to do, it's kind of implied. I don't mean to be like that (or do I?) because I want him to be happy and do what he wants, but I also am terrified his job won't end well.
He asks why I am even dating him, and the honest truth is because he is an amazing man who truly does right by people. I love him. But do you think he is right? Is this something that can be overcome? — JUST ONE THING IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR JUST ONE THING: It takes a particular kind of person — a very strong one — to marry a partner who is in the military or in law enforcement. The physical danger can create additional stress in relationships.
You cannot and should not dictate what your boyfriend's job should be. If he thinks he can find emotional satisfaction in police work — provided he completes his training — he should give it a try. If you don't think you can handle the stress of kissing him goodbye and being unsure that he will come home from work, then you are not the woman for him.
DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 22 years. My husband is 60 and retired from the military. Ever since I have known him, he has always needed recognition and pats on the back, which I have tried to supply. However, over the past three years, it has become hard to put up with. He wants lots of applause for any accomplishments and posts daily announcements on Facebook, which have become an embarrassment. It's childish! I suspect his Facebook friends feel obligated to affirm how good their friend is. Should I mention that he needs to go lighter on his praise-fishing expeditions or remain quiet? — EMBARRASSED IN OKLAHOMA
DEAR EMBARRASSED: For the time being, remain quiet. If your husband starts to notice that he's beginning to lose Facebook friends, suggest it to him then — gently. And encourage him to diversify his activities so he spends less time on Facebook.