DEAR ABBY: I'm married to the love of my life. Our 25th anniversary will be here soon. My issue is, my husband has a beard I cannot stand. It's long and unkempt, and makes him look 10 years older than he is. It has become a real issue between us.
He keeps telling me about women and co-workers who tell him what a "nice full beard" he has. I don't care what these women think. I am his wife, and I think he should shave it or at least trim it for me.
I am withholding sex (which is very important to him) until he trims it and no longer make eye contact with him because I can't stand looking at him. What should I do? I love him more than anyone else in the world does. Shouldn't he respect my wishes? -- IN A HAIRY SITUATION IN DULUTH
DEAR HAIRY SITUATION: If you want to make your marriage last 26 years, please stop using sex as a weapon to manipulate your husband.
That said, your opinion should supersede that of the women he sees at work. A beard can be flattering if it is kept clean and trimmed. If it's not, a man can look like Howard Hughes in his latter days, which is truly unfortunate.
Because you are unable to get your message across, enlist the help of your husband's barber. Perhaps he can get through to him.
DEAR ABBY: I'm planning on moving into the same apartment complex as my ex-boyfriend. It's all I can afford and still be close to where my family lives. He'll be on one side, and I'll be on the far side. I don't think he will be driving to the side I'll be living on.
Should I text him and let him know I'm moving nearby but I'm not stalking him? Or should I keep my mouth shut and hope he never sees my car? -- TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT?
DEAR TOO CLOSE?: Before you sign the lease, ask yourself how you would feel if you saw your ex-boyfriend involved with another woman. If it would be painful, then it would be healthier for you to find an apartment elsewhere.
Next, ask yourself why your ex might think you were stalking him. If there is a grain of truth to it, again, you should not move there. If, however, there isn't, it is not necessary to text him about anything. If he sees your car and has a problem with it, do not make it your problem. The romance is over and so is the drama. Live your life and let him live his.
DEAR ABBY: I recently sent my wife flowers, but she took umbrage because I didn't take the time to stop by the florist and jot down a message myself. I phoned in the order and dictated the message instead. I am hurt and mystified over this alleged faux pas. Did I commit a social no-no? -- STEVEN IN ST. LOUIS
DEAR STEVEN: Of course not. For your wife to have criticized your gift was ungracious. She may have been upset about something else or having a bad day. Dictating the message on the card was perfectly appropriate.
DEAR ABBY: I've been divorced for nearly two years, and my ex and I have moved on. My question is about our family portraits. I don't want to throw them away because of my kids, but I don't really want them around my house either. What should I do? -- NOT LOOKING BACK IN AUSTIN
DEAR NOT LOOKING BACK: Put them in an album, or display them in your children's bedrooms if they wish. Although the marriage is over, your ex is still their father and, hopefully, he will always be a part of their lives.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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