DEAR ABBY: My husband and I cannot seem to agree on something. Please offer your opinion - although I'm not sure it will change my mind, or my husband's.
Our 8-year-old son is scheduled to be the ring bearer in my brother's wedding. My husband is the coach of our son's soccer team, and it turns out that the championship playoff game is the same day and time as the wedding.I say my husband can miss the wedding to coach the team, but our son absolutely must be the ring bearer in the wedding. My husband says, "No, our son's commitment is to his team in the championship game." Neither one of us will budge from our position. Please help! - STUCK IN IRVINE, CALIF.
DEAR STUCK: I think your son should fulfill his commitment to be the ring bearer at your brother's wedding. There will be other soccer games, but your brother (let's hope) will have only one formal church wedding. Since your husband is the coach of the soccer team, I can understand why he places so much importance on the game, but I think he, too, should attend your brother's wedding, which will be remembered long after the soccer game has been forgotten.
I'm betting that all my male readers will say I'm wrong, and the women will say I'm right. Readers?
DEAR ABBY: What do you do with a husband who thinks that as long as he gives you his paycheck, he is being the perfect husband? We've been married for 14 years, and he has never once put his arms around me unless I ask him to.
When I ask him if he loves me, he says, "I married you, didn't I?" Maybe I shouldn't complain, because he's decent, hard-working, faithful and active in our church. But how can I get him to be more loving? - NEEDS AFFECTION
DEAR NEEDS: You say he's active in your church? Wonderful - most churches have a Marriage Encounter group, which has worked wonders to revive marriages like yours. If your church doesn't have one, initiate such a group. There are Protestant, Catholic, Jewish and non-religious Marriage Encounter groups.
Legal tender without legal tenderness doesn't make much of a marriage. Get going, and good luck.
DEAR ABBY: I just learned that the son of some good friends of ours committed suicide. They live in a distant city, but we have had a longtime close friendship.
We want to write them a letter of condolence, but are not sure whether we should mention the cause of their son's death or not. Please advise us. - LONGTIME FRIENDS
DEAR FRIENDS: To quote from my booklet, "How to Write Letters for All Occasions": "It isn't necessary to mention the cause of death. Many people ignore a death by suicide because they don't know what to say. Express your sorrow just as if the person had died of natural causes."
To get Abby's booklet "How to Write Letters for All Occasions," send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada), to: Dear Abby, Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054. (Postage is included.)