Dear Abby: Wife haunted by man’s decision during childbirth

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DEAR ABBY: Twelve years ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. It was a difficult pregnancy and delivery due to a medical condition my daughter was diagnosed with in the womb.

The doctors let my husband and me know there could be problems during the delivery. We needed to make a decision. If things went wrong, we had to choose between my life and our daughter’s life. I told my husband to pick her.

I can’t stop thinking about how quickly my husband agreed to that decision! At the time, I was OK with his immediate reaction and loved him more for caring about our child. My kid is the light of my life, and jealousy plays no role in my emotions.

I would want him to choose her again, but I don’t understand why his swift agreement haunts me still. It makes me question our relationship and how much I really matter to him. — HAUNTED IN TEXAS

DEAR HAUNTED: You may be viewing what happened from the wrong perspective. From where I sit, you TOLD your husband what you wanted his choice to be, and because he loves you, he immediately agreed.

I’m willing to bet that you are his world. I know few men who would wish to parent a child alone. You made the choice for your husband, and you are wrong to be second-guessing him after the fact.

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DEAR ABBY: My wife doesn’t think it’s rude to talk — or “whisper,” as she calls it — during movies. I don’t want to see movies with her because of this. She says I don’t understand because I am not a woman.

I tell her being a woman has nothing to do with it. Talking during movies is just plain rude. We can go for dessert after a movie and discuss it.

I’m not sure if you have any words of wisdom for her because she’s too busy talking to listen to me. — SILENT IN OHIO

DEAR SILENT: You and I are not the only ones who feel that when people talk and whisper in a theater, it’s rude. Often when I go to films, a short message is posted on the screen before it begins requesting that the audience turn off their electronic devices and refrain from talking while it’s running.

Because your wife refuses to keep quiet, have her see movies with a female friend who doesn’t mind the distraction — if she can find one. And as for you, if there’s a movie you want to see, either go alone or with a buddy.

P.S. Please warn your wife that she is asking to be yelled at, cursed at or worse if she persists.

DEAR ABBY: I have been divorced for seven years from my 28-year-old daughter’s father. She doesn’t understand why I date and keeps asking me why I can’t just stay single.

She said if I do find a boyfriend, she’ll refuse to meet him. She insists that if a man is in my life, he does not have to be in hers. This makes holidays and special events hard. What should I say to her? — GETTING OPPOSITION IN AUSTIN, TEXAS

DEAR GETTING: You and your daughter are both adults. Tell her that you want to date and have companionship for the same reasons she does.

Then point out that she does not have the right to dictate how you should live the rest of your life, and if she chooses not to meet someone who brings her mother happiness, it will be her loss and not yours.

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.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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