Dear Abby: I’m worried my daughter’s boyfriend has an unhealthy future

She doesn’t seem to understand the potential challenges of being with a kind but obese man.

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DEAR ABBY: My 23-year-old daughter and her first and only boyfriend have begun to talk marriage. Although I think he’s a wonderful, smart, compassionate young man who seems to adore my daughter, I have one major concern: his unhealthy habits.

When my daughter introduced him to us seven years ago, he was a little overweight. Since then, I’ve watched him pack on at least 25 pounds a year, and he’s now morbidly obese. His diet is horrible, and he never exercises. He also drinks and smokes, although not excessively.

My daughter, on the other hand, is petite, athletic and clean-living. Her habits haven’t rubbed off on him. I know enough about weight gain and health to be deeply concerned about the trend I’m seeing. Her boyfriend is fast approaching the super-morbidly-obese range and has limited mobility. He graduated near the top of their college class, but hasn’t had a stable job since. I’m afraid it’s only going to get harder for him to get hired in the future.

What’s making me even more upset is my blindly-in-love, naive daughter seems to have lost interest in pursuing a career of her own and is thinking this guy is going to take care of her. She has no clue that her boyfriend’s the one who’s likely to need taking care of before long, and she’s going to find it mighty difficult to both work and care for a man who towers over her and weighs nearly four times what she does.

So far, I haven’t said anything about this. I’m happy my daughter has found someone who’s kind, funny and loving, and whose family is so welcoming to her. I don’t want her to lose this guy; I just want them to get on a better track. I think they both need a reality check. Should I say something, or is it not my place? — FRETTING MOM

DEAR MOM: Talk to your daughter about your concerns, all of which are valid. Your daughter should NOT put her career on the back burner because, as you have pointed out, she may need it. Make sure she understands that her boyfriend’s choices will affect not only her future, but possibly her children’s, so this is a serious subject you will bring up only ONCE.

If this romance does progress to marriage — and I wish them a long and happy one — they should make estate planning a PRIORITY just in case. When love is in the air, we all expect a happy ending, but all too often fate intervenes.

DEAR ABBY: I was born in America to parents who emigrated from Pakistan. Over the last few years, I have noticed a trend at Pakistani weddings: The invitations clearly say “no boxed gifts,” which is obviously code for “we want money” instead. Have you or your readers ever heard of this? I think it’s in poor taste, but it’s common at our weddings. I can’t remember the last one that DIDN’T request “no boxed gifts” on the invitation. What do you, or your readers, think about this? — JUST GIVE ME MONEY

DEAR JUST GIVE ME MONEY: In some cultures, gifts of money are expected. Was it a tradition when your parents lived in Pakistan? In any case, according to the rules of etiquette, any mention of gifts ON A WEDDING INVITATION is considered a social blunder.

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.

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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