None of our friends are anywhere close to paying off their mortgages. We made the choice to drive old cars while our friends all have beautiful new ones, and we were genuinely happy for them each time they proudly showed them off.
I’m a stay-at-home mom, and I am our friends’ emergency contact for their kids at school. They have taken amazing vacations, and we have enjoyed their stories and photographs. We used the time and money trips would have cost to stay home and work on projects around the house. We haven’t envied them; we just had different goals.
Should we celebrate this -- just the two of us, or with our friends? -- DIFFERENT GOALS IN NEW MEXICO
DEAR DIFFERENT GOALS: True friends celebrate each other’s victories. With no more mortgage to pay, you and your husband will now be able to enjoy some of the things your friends have been enjoying all these years. While some couples would prefer to mark the occasion with a special dinner at a nice restaurant, if you’re inclined to do otherwise, then throw a party. You deserve it.
DEAR ABBY: I have been married to a wonderful man for 38 years. The issue is that sometimes I get insanely jealous. It isn’t an everyday occurrence, but I become insecure because I feel my husband is too attractive to other women.
My husband is very outgoing and I am an introvert. I find myself accusing him, and he tells me I need to stop it. He reassures me that I’m the only woman he loves and wants in his life.
I don’t want to destroy our wonderful marriage. I consider myself attractive. I need to stop letting my lack of self-confidence get the best of me. Please help. -- INSECURE IN OHIO
DEAR INSECURE: I wish I could wave a magic wand and make your feelings magically disappear, but I can’t. The answer to your problem lies in finding out the cause of your deep-seated insecurity, because that’s what triggers your jealousy. Until you do, nothing will change. A licensed mental health professional can help you get to the root of it and provide the tools to deal with it. Your physician should be able to refer you to someone who is qualified.
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.