DEAR ABBY: A childhood friend died from cervical cancer. "Katy" died because she didn't go to her OB-GYN for annual pap smears. She was a beautiful, intelligent, talented wife and mother who was responsible in every other way. Katy simply couldn't face a pelvic exam because throughout her childhood she had been molested by her father.
Katy's doctor told her that had it been caught in the early stages, her cancer would have been curable. Please remind every woman about the importance of a yearly exam. Those who feel they can't deal with the exams should force themselves to talk to their OB-GYN and explain their fear.
- Sick of Molesters
DEAR SICK OF MOLESTERS: Please accept my deepest sympathy for the loss of your friend. She won't have died in vain if women of every age heed your message.
DEAR ABBY: I have been married to my husband, "Henry," for 25 years, and he refuses to call me by name. He doesn't call me anything - certainly no terms of endearment. He just calls out or starts talking. He addresses our daughter's relatives, our neighbors and even our dog by name - but refuses to say mine.
I have mentioned to Henry many times how deeply hurt and resentful it makes me feel. He admits it's a problem, but refuses to get help because "he doesn't believe in counseling."
I know things could be worse. I'm not abused physically, but I feel mentally abused. Can you give me an insight on how to cope with this?
- Nameless in South Jersey
DEAR NAMELESS: What Henry has been doing is called "passive aggression." It's a pattern of behavior that can occur in a variety of contexts. In your case, it's consistently failing to do something he knows would please you, the absence of which he is fully aware is hurtful. This does not, however, mean that you shouldn't have counseling. Once you have recognized Henry's behavior for exactly what it is, you must then ask yourself why you have tolerated it.