DEAR ABBY: I'm a teenage girl who has always heard and seen on TV and in movies that there's pressure from guys to have sex. That may be true, but I feel there is also pressure from society. I never thought I would feel like that when I got to high school, but now I do. It hurts, and I am writing this for all the girls who feel the same way I do about it. I have been struggling with it for a few days, and it is messing with me a lot.
I know I don't want to have sex yet, but I still feel like I have to. "Tom" really wants to, but he isn't a virgin. It scares me, and while he isn't pressuring me, I feel like there is a boulder on my shoulders. If you know how I can stop feeling like this, please let me know.
- Pressure from Society
DEAR PRESSURE: A surefire way to feel less pressured into doing something you're not ready for would be to stop assuming Tom's sex drive is your responsibility.
Remember that although many teenage girls have been pressured into having sex, a sizable number have not. If you choose to wait until you are older, that's your privilege, because regardless of what you're seeing on TV and in the movies, "everyone else" isn't doing it.
With kids & jobs, no time for each other
DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have two amazing children, and while they do require a lot of attention, I feel like I'm getting the short end of the stick. My wife works third shift; I work 8 to 5. She's off two days out of two weeks, but even then, she's on call it seems like all the time. When I try to make time for us, things come up more often than not and it gets pushed aside.
We used to have time for each other, and we are talking about having another child. How do I find the time for one more child when we don't have enough time for each other? I'm beginning to think she doesn't want to be around me anymore, or she's no longer in love with me or that she's cheating on me. I don't want to believe it, but I don't know what else to think. What should I do?
- Needs Time Together
DEAR NEEDS TIME: Have you told your wife all the things you are telling me? If you haven't, place it at the top of your agenda. Feeling the way you do, you should be talking about improving your marriage before enlarging your family and the responsibilities that go along with it. Not only should you and your wife be scheduling alone time together, you should also consult a licensed family therapist to reopen the lines of communication between the two of you.
for rest of the family
DEAR ABBY: Could you please tell me what's proper in a situation like this? My husband and I are always invited to his family's holiday celebrations. When we accept, the invitation is also extended to my mother and sister. If my husband and I are unable to attend, should my mother and sister still go or consider their invitation canceled?
- Jan in San Clemente, Calif.
DEAR JAN: If the invitations that were extended were accepted by your mother and sister, and they are expected, they should attend.