DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend doesn’t get excited about anything anymore. He walks around the house all day with a gloomy expression. When I ask him about it, he tells me he is bored. I’m scared he might get bored with me.

Our sex life is great, and the relationship seems like it’s on firm footing. But I can’t shake this feeling he doesn’t want to be here anymore. Sometimes I see him staring out the window as if waiting for something to happen.

He talks less and less every day. I’m not sure what’s wrong, and I’m really scared for him. — ALARMED IN ARIZONA

DEAR ALARMED: The behavior you have described could be a sign of depression — or not.

If you want to find out what’s going on in your boyfriend’s head, summon up the courage to ask him if he is unhappy in your relationship. If he says you aren’t the problem, explain that you can see his behavior has changed, and tell him that if he’s depressed, he needs to talk about it to a doctor and get a checkup.

There might be a medical reason for his boredom and low energy.

DEAR ABBY: What do I do when relatives show up to family gatherings with sick children?

We recently hosted a family party in our home. My sister-in-law arrived with an obviously sick child in tow. I am pregnant and have a 2-year-old son. Now my child and I are sick.

This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. How should I handle this in the future without starting World War III? — SICK OF GERMS IN ARKANSAS

DEAR SICK OF GERMS: Here’s how I’d handle it: I’d talk to all the in-laws. I would explain that my 2-year-old and I caught whatever the child had, and tell them I don’t want it to happen again.

Then I would add that in the future, I do not want anyone to come over if they or one of their children is sick.

That’s not an unreasonable request. Because, regrettably, not all children are vaccinated these days, you are lucky you didn’t catch something that could have put your unborn child at risk.

DEAR ABBY: My mother died recently. She had lovely embossed stationery with her monogram. Would it be all right for me to use it to acknowledge gifts and notes of sympathy for her death, or should I use my own? — SANDRA IN SAVANNAH

DEAR SANDRA: It would be better to use your own. To receive an acknowledgment on letterhead bearing the monogram of the deceased might cause a negative reaction.

Because the stationery was expensive, consider having it recut so the monogram is removed and using it for your own personal correspondence. That way, it won’t be wasted.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)