DEAR SECRET: Unless your religious friends have a hidden listening device in your bedroom, your worries are groundless. What happens in the bedroom between two adults — as long as it is consensual and hurts neither one — is OK and nobody else’s business. As to whether other religious married couples do something similar to what you and your wife are doing, I think the odds are pretty good they are doing that and more.
DEAR ABBY: My younger brother has been with his girlfriend for three years off and on. He’s 22; she’s 19. He joined the Army during one of their breakups. (Being in the military was something he had wanted to do since he could talk.) When he was away, she mentally abused him because she “doesn’t trust other people.” My brother has told me he’s only with her because she has nobody else. (She comes from a dysfunctional family.) She doesn’t allow him to have any kind of social life when she’s not around. She’s now pregnant with what we believe is not my brother’s child, given they had broken up and the day they got back together, BAM! she’s pregnant. I know it takes only one time, but the dates really don’t add up. This is affecting his relationship with our family and his lifelong buddies. He’s my only brother, and I don’t want to just flush our relationship as siblings, but I’m exhausted. What do I do? — TIRED IN THE EAST
DEAR TIRED: Your family should talk to your brother as a group and discuss your concerns. His girlfriend is immature, insecure and controlling. He will be under her thumb for a lifetime if they marry. Ask him to clarify how honest he was when he said he was with her only because she had no one else. He may be so physically attracted to her he can’t think straight, which is why he seems to be willing to accept her manipulation and control. He should not support the baby without first talking to an attorney and insisting on a paternity test.
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.