DEAR ABBY: I'm becoming increasingly concerned about my wife, "Traci," and her influence over our 3-year-old son, "Grant." I love having a son, as does Traci, although she always wanted a little girl. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to have another child, and my wife's focus on our son appears to be somewhat skewed.
Over the last few months, Traci has been buying Grant more and more feminine clothing. I'm OK with a pink shirt now and then, but lately it has gotten out of hand. She has been close to dressing Grant in drag. My wife says not to take it so seriously, but it bothers me when people tell us we have a "lovely little girl."
I'm worried that what my wife is doing will have an adverse effect on my son, but at the same time I need to know if I'm overreacting.
- It's a boy!
DEAR IT'S A BOY!: My experts tell me that there is no data that demonstrates what your wife is doing will cause gender confusion in your son. What's important is that you talk to her and express your concerns privately. Your little boy is at an age where he can sense stress in your marriage, and THAT could cause him problems later on. More important than what clothes he's wearing is decreasing the level of stress on the boy.
DEAR ABBY: I'm dating a man who is genuine, considerate, thoughtful, humble, responsible, committed to his family, and we have great physical chemistry. Unfortunately, there is no intellectual/social "connection."
We have never had an intellectually stimulating conversation, and I'm not sure he's even someone I would have picked to be friends with, although we do share interests in the outdoors and our faith. I feel emotionally secure with him and keep wondering if I'm being overly critical or choosing to stay in a relationship out of fear of not finding someone better in time to start a family. (I'm in my early 30s.) Please advise.
- Indecisive in Pleasanton, Calif.
DEAR INDECISIVE: To be frank, no one person has "everything." If intellectual stimulation is the quality that's most important to you, then the man you have been dating isn't the one for you. The fine qualities you listed would weigh heavily in his favor with many women. What you must ask yourself is whether or not you can be with him and find intellectual stimulation elsewhere when you feel you need it.
DEAR ABBY: I have four grown children between the ages of 21 and 25. For years I had a career, supported them financially and put them through college and trade schools.
I remarried last January. My youngest daughter now says my kids are no longer No. 1 in my life and she will no longer speak to me. I told her my husband and all my children will always be No. 1 - just in a different way.
She's having a baby soon and hasn't included me in her life since January. Mind you, the baby is from a drug cartel man, they both have felonies, and she recently married her high school sweetheart.
I'm torn between getting on with my life or trying to reach out to her with hugs and kisses every now and then via snail mail. She has blocked me on Facebook and changed her cellphone number. Any suggestions?
- Torn in Tucson
DEAR TORN: Yes. Get on with your life. On her birthday and at Christmas send cards to let her know you love her and are thinking of her. When she needs you for something, I guarantee she'll contact you. Until then, don't hold your breath.
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.