Dear Abby: When I was dating my husband, I gave him a lot of leeway. When he told me he listened to a radio show that is known for unscientific views, I ignored it because I found him so charming and kind. Honestly, he treats me better than anyone I’ve ever known, and I had been in the dating scene for 27 years. During our three-year courtship I always avoided the topics of science and politics.
We have been married two years now, and I’m trying hard to reconcile the fact that I’m married to a conspiracy theorist who believes the world is flat. He’s convinced that fluoride is mass brainwashing and the Holocaust was faked. It makes me so sad. I knew on some level that he believed these things, but I chose to overlook it.
Other than his irrational beliefs, we are compatible and happy. My question is, can a relationship survive and thrive in the midst of these fundamental differences?
Dear Knows Better: You say you are compatible and happy in every other respect. Yes, your marriage can survive — IF you practice the same selective amnesia you chose to adopt when your husband was courting you, and focus solely on the areas in which you are in sync.
Dear Abby: Can you please advise me about what to do about a mother who has gone overboard with church donations? She drained my parents’ savings and gave her old church $20,000. She complains to Dad that they can’t afford to go out to dinner once a week, but she’s doing this?
What can I say to her? I get that it says in the Bible you’re supposed to tithe, but my folks are on a budget, and they are in danger of losing their home because of this. Twenty thousand dollars is close to 30 percent of their combined pretax income, and that’s not even taking into account what she’s giving to the church she currently attends. Help!
Dear Overboard: You can’t handle this problem alone. Your father will have to become proactive about what your mother has been doing. This may involve him talking to an attorney about what would be involved with separating his earnings from your mother’s.
That said, is it possible that your mother is “forgetting” she has already made some of these donations, or why they can no longer go out to dinner once a week? If that’s the case, it’s important she be evaluated medically and neurologically to be sure she is still of sound body and mind.
Dear Abby: Would it be rude to announce my wife’s pregnancy before her sister’s wedding next week? Do I need to wait until afterward, or is good news always welcome?
In the Midwest
Dear Good News: In the interest of family harmony, I urge you to refrain from doing it. While good news is always welcome, this news should wait until after the wedding. If you make the announcement now, your sister-in-law might regard it as stealing the limelight from the bride.
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.