DEAR ABBY: My daughter was married eight months ago. During the planning of the wedding, her fiance was very involved in every aspect of decision-making. Soon after the vows were exchanged, her new husband became cold and distant toward her. He would constantly tell her she made him miserable, and he allowed his mother to ridicule and berate her over things from her hair color to her cooking.
My husband and I kept quiet because we didn't want to interfere. About a month ago, he decided he no longer wanted to be married. Since then, my daughter has revealed that shortly after the wedding she discovered her engagement ring was a fake, and he insisted she pay for half the costs of the honeymoon -- which she did.
We're not wealthy people, so paying for their wedding was a stretch for us. I am furious that my soon-to-be ex-son-in-law sat and watched us spend thousands of dollars on a wedding, knowing full well my daughter was wearing a fake ring on her hand and then insisted she pay for half the honeymoon.
I wonder what his real motive was in marrying her. He shows no remorse and portrays himself as the "victim" for having married someone who couldn't get along with his mother.
How do I move forward and get over my anger and need for retribution? -- OUTRAGED IN OKLAHOMA
DEAR OUTRAGED: Start by thanking your lucky stars that your daughter will soon be free of a husband who appears to be already married to his mother. Then realize that your daughter was married to a dishonest, verbally abusive user to whom she might have been tied for a lifetime if she'd had a child or two with him.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 24-year-old gay man, and I still don't know if I want to have children or not. I feel that by this point I should know, but I don't. When I date, the subject inevitably comes up, and I never know how to respond.
I used to think that children were an expense I would never want, but now the thought pops into my head from time to time. People have told me I'd be a great dad. I think so, too.
When and how will I know for sure? And in the meantime, what should I tell the guys I date? -- UNDECIDED IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
DEAR UNDECIDED: It is not unusual for a person your age -- regardless of sexual orientation -- to be unsure about taking on the responsibilities of parenthood. You will probably know "for sure" you want children when you are in a stable relationship and financially able to provide for them. In the meantime, tell the guys you date that you "think" you would like to be a parent one day -- but you're not yet ready to set up a nursery.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 29-year-old male. Is it normal for me to be dating a woman who is in her mid-50s? I really like her, and she likes me, but sex seems to be an issue because she is hesitant to engage with someone who is my age. In her words, she is old enough to be my mother and it's "weird." What are your thoughts? -- JAY IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR JAY: It's unusual for a man in his 20s to be dating a woman that much older, but it's not unheard of. It is more common for the reverse to be true. Remind her that the age difference hasn't stopped some men from doing it, and we're living in the age of equality.
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.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)