DEAR ABBY: I just found out that my girlfriend of nearly four years had an abortion when she was in high school.
I overheard her during a conversation she was having with someone. I later asked her what was implied when the name of her ex-boyfriend from high school was brought up. She proceeded to tell me what had happened and then said, "I never told you that?" Obviously, she never mentioned it to me because I certainly would have remembered something of that magnitude.
My reaction is feelings of disgust, betrayal and of having been lied to. Am I overreacting or are my feelings warranted? -- FEELS BETRAYED IN CONNECTICUT
DEAR FEELS BETRAYED: That depends upon whether you ever had a conversation with your girlfriend about her sexual history during which you were supposed to tell each other "everything." If so, then the omission was deliberate. If not, she was under no obligation to reveal that she had terminated a pregnancy during high school.
Abortion is a deeply personal and often complex decision for women. Ultimately, I am told, most women feel a sense of relief after an abortion. However, many do not feel that it is something to celebrate and may not be comfortable sharing that they have had one.
DEAR ABBY: My husband gives me gift cards for my birthday and special occasions, but with it comes, "I want to know everything you buy!" I tell him it's a gift and I shouldn't have to tell him what I use it for. If I do tell him what I bought, he invariably says, "Did you really need that?"
It ruins the whole thing for me when I must reveal what I bought with the card. So who's right -- he or I? -- RELUCTANT RECIPIENT IN ALASKA
DEAR RELUCTANT RECIPIENT: You are, for the reason you stated. The object of a gift is to bring pleasure, and there are few comments your husband could make that would put a bigger damper on your purchase than, "Do you really need that?" The next time he asks what you bought, tell him, "None of your beeswax!"
DEAR ABBY: My stepmother was in a fatal car accident. She was very dear to me. A few days after the funeral, Dad told me the best way to handle grief is to clean house -- so we began cleaning house like crazy, stopping to cry every now and then.
We ran out of towels, so I went to fetch more from the guest bathroom where they are kept. Seeing a penny on the sink, I grabbed it and threw it in the wastebasket. (I wondered where it had come from because I hadn't noticed it there earlier in the day.) Suddenly, I remembered the letters in your column from people saying if you find a penny after you have lost a loved one, it means they are sending you a message of love from heaven.
I quickly reached into the wastebasket to retrieve the penny, praying that it was newly minted -- and it was! I showed it to Dad, explaining the significance, and we both had a good cry. We keep it in my stepmother's china cabinet to remind us that love is eternal.
To us, that penny is priceless. Thank you for running those "pennies from heaven" stories. -- READER IN CONNECTICUT
DEAR READER: You're welcome. To me your experience is priceless.
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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