DEAR JEALOUS: I think “help” would be a good idea. Tell your wife you’re willing to get some on the condition that she come with you. It’s called marriage counseling, and clearly you both are in need of some. Your doctor can refer you to a licensed therapist. Also, if you have a religious adviser, make an appointment to talk with him or her. If your wife refuses, do both of these things without her. Please don’t wait.
DEAR ABBY: I’m a 15-year-old sophomore. People in my class openly share their opinions and act disgusted when a slightly older man and a younger woman are together, or vice versa. I get offended when my classmates make these comments because my mom is 39 and my stepfather is 27. They love each other very much, and I don’t think age should interfere. Am I oversensitive because I’m offended by these comments? — AGE IS JUST A NUMBER
DEAR AGE: Becoming offended solves nothing, unless the comments are made specifically about your mom and stepdad. It’s my observation that people with little life experience tend to be judgmental about things they know nothing about, and 15-year-olds are no exception. Perhaps when your classmates are older, they’ll realize that people don’t fall in love “by the numbers” and that it’s a mistake to generalize.
DEAR ABBY: When I was growing up, I was always told to remove my shoes when visiting another person’s house, especially if they have new flooring. Now that I’m an adult and building a new house, I would like to ask people to remove their shoes upon entering my home. I have young children and expect family with other small kids will visit. I’d like to keep the floors clean and maintain their good condition. Would it be tacky or rude to ask this of visitors? — SHOELESS IN ST. LOUIS
DEAR SHOELESS: I don’t think so, but some people may. In Japan, removing one’s shoes before entering a dwelling is customary. The soles of shoes are covered with germs, and if small children crawl around on your floors, it’s not too much to ask. Be sure to warn prospective guests in advance so they can bring their own slippers, or keep a supply of them by your front door.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.