Dear Abby: My fiance’s female friends are ready to marry him if I don’t

Man tells the interested women that he’s taken, but they’re not getting the message, and that troubles his bride-to-be.

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DEAR ABBY: My fiance, “Peter,” has a number of female friends I’m not comfortable with, primarily because they are women he “had” interest in before we started dating. He says he has told them he’s taken now and they can’t be more than friends, but I don’t think they got the message. He recently told me one of them told him a guy had proposed to her but she’s delaying accepting in case Peter becomes available. This is the second time something like this has happened.

I believe it’s because of the way he relates to these girls. I mean, if he has really made clear in words and actions that he’s not interested in them romantically, they wouldn’t base their life decisions on the hope that they may still have a chance with him.

Peter may tell me these things because he wants me to know lots of women are willing to have him. But I’m confused at this point about whether he’s truly committed to me. Could it be he just likes “talking” to women even though it leads them on? And is this behavior healthy for a future marriage? — SECOND THOUGHTS

DEAR SECOND THOUGHTS: You are asking intelligent questions. Unfortunately, not knowing your fiance, I can’t answer them. I can, however, offer this: When couples become serious, they stop playing games. If your fiance thinks that causing you to feel jealous or insecure at this point is constructive, he is making a mistake because it won’t stop after the wedding. Peter appears to be immature, and that’s a red flag. Premarital counseling may help to clear the air.

DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 28 years. I thought we were very happy for the first 25. The change came when our children all left home. We sold our large house, which I was more than willing to do. But the house we have moved into causes me a lot of anxiety because of the traffic noise. My husband is very forceful about his “right” to choose where we live. He has insisted that the next move is also his choice and has already purchased the land. He claims he has provided for others all these years, and now it’s his turn to get what he wants.

Abby, I raised the children, I still have a job and I contribute to every aspect of home life. Although I love him with all my heart, I wonder if I’d be better off throwing in the towel. He refuses to go to counseling, but I have gone, to help with my anxiety. After three years in this new home, I don’t see any sign he will change his ways. I have tried talking to him about choosing something different together and moving, but he won’t do it. Help! — BACK UP AGAINST THE WALL

DEAR BACK: I can’t change your husband’s attitude and, apparently, neither can you. I’m glad you have been seeing a therapist, because it’s time to schedule more appointments. Your therapist will help you to decide whether you can continue living with someone who refuses to recognize your contributions to the marriage and who has such a controlling, authoritarian attitude.

You have decisions to make that should not be taken lightly or decided while you are emotional. You deserve peace of mind and an equal voice about where you choose to live.

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.

To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable — and most frequently requested — poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby — Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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