Dear Abby: This “second choice” cannot give you a second chance

DEAR ABBY: The eczema had a previous relationship with my cousin, “Earl”. When he talked about his past relationships, a common theme arose. His partners were emotionally violent – cheating, harassing him, throwing outbursts of rage where they screamed into his face and threw things. My own story is similar. My partners did the same to me. (I’m not used to this kind of behavior.)

Earl said he still had feelings for her, despite causing him emotional abuse. I confronted him and told him that what he did was wrong. Abby, when she found out, threw me out and tried to come back with Earl!

My cousin, after working to remedy the problems, outright refused. He told her that despite the lingering feelings, it would never work between them. He just came back to me saying he wanted a serious relationship. Should I take it back? – VERY MIXED

BEAUTIFUL OR MIXED: Hell not. This woman made it clear that you are her second choice. Please do not add to your offer. You can’t fix what’s wrong with this very mixed woman, and you shouldn’t waste your time trying to, because if you do, it will only hurt you more.

DEAR ABBY: My husband is a smart, hardworking and wonderful father to our little son. We hope our family can prosper. However, my husband is a smoker and is extremely defensive about suggestions that might suggest quitting with him.

Both of his parents died of cancer at a relatively young age, and his mother was also a smoker. I dread being sick and dying young. Not only that, they are constantly missing out on precious moments with our son, who is standing by the window and crying when he sees his father going out. I start to get outraged by the constant breaks as I sit inside comforting our son.

I tried to reason with him and suggest that we ask a doctor for help, but he falls silent and gets angry. How can I try to approach it again? – Anti-smoking in COLORADO

DEAR Smoking: You have fallen in love with an addict. Your husband is tobacco addicted and doesn’t seem to understand or care about how this might affect you or you and your son in the years to come. My advice would be to stop your husband’s pressure for the time being and ask your doctor to refer you to a support group for friends and family members of people addicted to smoking.

DEAR ABBY: A man and a woman liked (and loved) each other in their teens, but they married different people. After a decade, the man sends marriage anniversary wishes to the woman on Facebook. The next day, without a response, the woman blocks the man, the second day deactivates her account on FB. What it means? – He was terrified in the Middle East

DEAR FOUND: This means that the teenage romance in the storybook is long over. He moved on, and so should you.

Dear Abby was written by Abigail Van Buren, aka Jeanne Phillips, founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.