DEAR ABBY: I'm a 19-year-old girl in my third semester of college. My boyfriend, "Tom," attends a community college nearby. Both of us live with our parents. Tom was my high school sweetheart.
Tom just proposed. I immediately accepted, but now I'm second-guessing my decision. I feel that by prematurely locking ourselves in, we're setting ourselves up for failure. Am I overreacting?
- Fledgling Fiancee in Louisiana
DEAR FIANCEE: Not at all. You are very young to be making a permanent commitment, and you're both entering a period of growth - and possible divergence in your level of life experience. Tom may have proposed because he was afraid he might lose you now that you're attending different schools.
Tell Tom you care for him deeply, but think you jumped the gun. I agree that by prematurely locking yourselves in, the odds of the relationship not lasting are high. Be sure Tom understands that you aren't trying to end the relationship, but postponing the engagement.
DEAR ABBY: I was in a terrible car accident, and ever since I have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. My problem is that my husband's family comes to visit each year for anywhere from four to eight days, and when they're here my stress level is very high. Their last three visits resulted in my getting migraine headaches and painful neuropathy.
My husband doesn't want to send them to a hotel. Therefore, I feel that since this is my problem, I should move to a hotel during their visits. What do you think?
- Pushed to the Limit
DEAR PUSHED: Your in-laws may not be aware of the lingering damage. Your husband should explain this to them and ask if they would mind staying elsewhere because of your medical condition. If you can tolerate their "tumult" on a limited basis, this might solve the problem. If not, then I agree you should stay elsewhere so they can have a good time together. However, you should make every effort to see them for a short time so they won't feel you are avoiding them.