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DEAR ABBY

Family meals repeatedly cause digestion issues

DEAR ABBY: My husband was instructed by his doctor to avoid dairy due to a chronic condition that negatively impacts his daily life. Around the same time, his father and his girlfriend began implementing the keto diet into their lifestyle. We are often invited to their home for game night. She takes pride in preparing a home-cooked meal for everyone. We’ve been open about my husband’s dietary restrictions, but dairy remains a heavily used ingredient in these dishes, and it is often hidden or disguised by a different name depending on its preparation.

She seems to think that because my husband isn’t “allergic” to dairy, it’s OK for him to consume it. However, because we’ve both changed our diets to exclude dairy, these visits often end in stomach pains and, for him, other discomforts that may last for days. We enjoy the game nights, but fear a more direct approach will hurt our newfound relationship with his father’s soon-to-be bride. What would you suggest? — RESTRICTED IN ARIZONA

DEAR RESTRICTED: I suggest you be VERY direct (and descriptive) with your father-in-law and his soon-to-be fiancee about the effect that dairy products have on your husband! Pain for days? That’s terrible. And if your husband’s dietary restrictions can’t be accommodated, either eat beforehand or bring your own food to the gathering.

DEAR ABBY: I am 55 and have waited for the right man. The only regret I have is that I didn’t find him earlier because I went into early menopause at 33. I wish my values weren’t so strict, but I have met someone who seems to respect my desire to wait until marriage.

The problem is our relationship has many negatives. We live two hours apart. He loves to gamble. I am educated, and he has a learning disability. Most of the time, I feel like I am in fourth place in his life behind his family, his friends and his gambling. I don’t feel he really wants to be with me. I sometimes wonder if it’s because of the sex thing. However, I don’t want a relationship based on sex. I want him to want to spend his time with me, and I want us to become one and I don’t see it happening. I also don’t believe he can budget for anything more than paying his bills and gambling the rest of his money.

It doesn’t seem like he would choose to be with me rather than with his friends and family. Am I wanting too much? I’m afraid what he is after is security, not a loving relationship where you become one in life. — WAITING FOR MR. RIGHT

DEAR WAITING: I don’t think you want too much. What you are searching for is what most people want — a life partner who is considerate, loving and whose values are close to their own. Because you suspect this person is after financial security, please listen to your gut. If you really believe you are four notches down on his list of priorities, do not settle. End this “romance” now.

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.

CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS

College Football Hall of Fame coach Barry Switzer is 84. R&B singer Arlene Smith (The Chantels) is 80. Singer-musician Steve Miller is 78. Rock singer Brian Johnson (AC/DC) is 74. Actress Karen Allen is 70. Writer-producer-director Clive Barker is 69. Astrophysicist-author Neil deGrasse Tyson is 63. Actor Daniel Baldwin is 61. Actor Guy Pearce is 54. Actress Josie Bissett is 51. Singer-actress Heather Headley is 47. Actress Kate Winslet is 46. Actor Jesse Eisenberg is 38. TV personality Nicky Hilton is 38. Actor Jacob Tremblay is 15.

TODAY'S HOROSCOPE

A compassionate approach to life, love and how you treat others will offer peace of mind and help you resolve matters that have been standing in your way. You may not please everyone, but being true to yourself will always be the best way to go.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) — Express your thoughts and feelings, and follow through with your plans. Offer what you can to those in need. Keep your life and what’s going on around you in perspective.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22) — Keep things simple and under control. Excess of any kind will lead to trouble. Curb bad habits and enforce a routine, diet and lifestyle that will keep you in shape and healthy.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21) — Express your thoughts and feelings, and do your best to take care of matters that can determine your professional fate. Take the initiative and outmaneuver any competition.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) — Be cautious when dealing with a friend, relative or colleague. Don’t share personal information or make promises that might put you in a tight spot. Make a change at home that will ease stress.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Concentrate on what’s important to you. A financial deal looks promising. Look for an investment that is solid and doesn’t require you to go into debt. Moderation and intelligence will be key.

PISCES (Feb. 20-March 20) — Pay attention to how you present yourself to others. Update your image and take a unique approach to friendship and romance. Say what’s on your mind and stick to the rules and regulations.

ARIES (March 21-April 19) — Put everything in its place and carry on until you reach your destination. Focus on your relationships with people who can help you get ahead. An opportunity will arise.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) — Be a good listener and show support for those who share your beliefs. Don’t feel you need to change to fit in; be yourself, and you’ll attract like-minded people.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) — Be objective, open and honest. Present your point with concision, and people will listen. Mix business with pleasure, and friendships will sprout that will encourage a bright future.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) — Problems will develop if you are possessive or moody. Pay attention to your appearance and consider what you want to do before sharing with others. Be sure your plan is doable.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) — Think about the message you want to send. Consider how someone you care about will feel or react if you are abrupt or pushy. A kind word will help you gain support; a demand will cause friction.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) — Use your imagination to come up with a plan that will help you achieve your goal. Run your ideas by those who may be affected by the decisions you make.

NEWS OF THE WEIRD

By Chuck Sheppard

Fixer-Upper: Sara Weaver and her husband found their dream farmhouse in Skippack, Pennsylvania, and bought it in December in a bit of a rush. They decided to forgo an inspection, but they did note that the seller’s disclosure mentioned “bees in wall.” It wasn’t until the weather warmed, however, that the Weavers became aware of the extent of the bees. When Allan Lattanzi, a beekeeper in the area, came to remove them in late July, he eventually ended up with 450,000 bees, comprising three colonies. CNN reported that the Weavers paid $12,000 for the removal, which involved taking slate tiles off the outside wall one by one. Lattanzi estimates the bees had been there for 35 years; he had been called to the residence once before but the owner at that time didn’t want to pay for the removal. When the Weavers took ownership, the house “was so dirty,” Weaver said, “and now that I’m thinking about it, I originally thought it was dirt on the windows that I cleaned but it was probably honey because there were drip marks.”

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