DEAR ABBY: I am a 25-year-old college student on the verge of graduation. Over the past three months, I have been dating a slightly younger man (he’s 21). We get along well, and I thoroughly enjoy his company. He has never been anything but kind and supportive.
My parents have an issue with the match. My boyfriend is Latino, born and raised in a South American country. He speaks and understands English well, although speaking it does make him a little nervous. I speak Spanish fluently, so when we talk to each other, he speaks in Spanish and I speak in English, and we have no problem communicating.
My parents think that relationships (especially marriages) are already hard enough, and adding cultural differences to the equation is a dangerous gamble for my future happiness. They strongly oppose my continuing my relationship with him. Do you think their argument is valid?
I’ve looked up statistics that say marriages between a Latino man and white woman are the most likely to end in divorce (not that I’m thinking of marrying him any time soon, but one of my future goals is to be in a happy marriage, and I realize that you marry who you date).
The idea of ending a relationship with someone I adore based on statistics is upsetting to me. I’d really appreciate your thoughts. — GROWN-UP IN UTAH
DEAR GROWN-UP: You have been dating this man for only three months. By the age of 25, the decision about whom you decide to eventually marry should be yours, not your parents’ — regardless of how well-meaning they are. Do not let statistics rule your life because there are always exceptions. Let this play out, and you will have your answer.
DEAR ABBY: My husband finds fault and makes negative comments about almost everything. He rarely talks to me about anything. I am not happy with my life with him. I feel there is so much I want to do and explore. He is content to stay at home, watch TV and occasionally do little projects around the house. Then it is time for TV again.
We are both retired. My adult kids and my grandchildren are my whole life. We are all very close.
My husband, on the other hand, rarely talks to or calls his kids, even though I encourage him to. One child no longer even speaks to him. Another one lives too far away to see him (a 10-hour drive), which is his reason for not visiting him.
With no friends and very little family contact, I feel I am all he has. I want to run away, but if I do, he’d be heartbroken. Sad to say, I wouldn’t even miss him. What should I do? — UNFULFILLED IN OHIO
DEAR UNFULFILLED: Has your husband always been this way? If the answer is no, he may be depressed, which is something that should be discussed with his doctor.
I don’t think you should leave him — immediately. If you want to travel and have the means to do so, travel with some friends.
The only thing you should not do is permit yourself to become isolated because your husband is so closed off.