DEAR ABBY: My husband has become very overweight, which has caused his sex drive — as well as his health — to suffer. I worry about him constantly, and I miss the intimacy we used to have. He is aware of how I feel and started trying to eat healthier. He also tries to exercise at least a little bit every day.
The problem is he constantly falls off the wagon. Sometimes he says he's too tired to exercise, or he reverts back to his old habits and ends up eating fast food. He always tries again the next day, but he won't make much progress at the rate he's going.
I don't want to nag him to death, but I do want him around for a long time. What can I say that will make him take this more seriously? — ALL ABOUT HEALTH IN ALABAMA
DEAR ALL ABOUT HEALTH: Tell your husband how much you love him, and that you're afraid "until death do us part" will happen prematurely if he continues killing himself with his fork and his sedentary ways. You might also recite the names of the various diseases that accompany obesity in most people.
But if your husband's doctor hasn't been able to get the message through to him, there isn't much more you can do besides love him for the wonderful husband he is and keep your fingers crossed. I say this because the only person who can "make" your husband commit to a diet and exercise program is himself, with the recognition that changing his unhealthy patterns probably won't be easy and WILL take time.
DEAR ABBY: Recently, my wife took two of our granddaughters (ages 9 and 15) and a friend (age 15) to the movies. As usual, the next day I found trash had been left in the car, which triggered the following text exchange.
I sent both granddaughters a picture of a garbage can and my car and asked: "Please advise which one is used to throw away trash? If you need help, ask your mom. I'm not accusing anyone of anything. Also, if one of your friends was to throw trash on your Poppy's car floor, what should you do? Would you ask them to pick it up — yes or no?"
The only response I received was from their mom, who said, "'Amber' (granddaughter) did not leave trash in your car!" Things have gone downhill from there.
I replied that I expected an answer to my questions, and that I hadn't accused anybody of anything. You would think I had shot someone! Many tears have been shed, and my wife has threatened to divorce me for standing my ground. We have agreed to have you settle this. What say you? — TALKING TRASH IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR TALKING TRASH: You are the injured party. You did nothing wrong. You are owed an apology from all concerned — the kid who left the trash in your car, and your wife and daughter for overreacting.
DEAR ABBY: My older sister was born on July 4. She's now in her 60s and refuses to celebrate the holiday. She also doesn't want the immediate family to celebrate it either. We have tried to be supportive in years past, but we miss having our Fourth of July holiday. What do you suggest? — WANTS TO CELEBRATE
DEAR WANTS TO CELEBRATE: I suggest that before July 4, you declare YOUR independence by asking your older sister what other day she would like to celebrate her birthday. Then celebrate the Fourth of July as you would like — without her.
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.