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LifestyleColumnistsAsk Amy

Woman wonders whether to tell beau about her past

DEAR AMY: For the first time in many years, I have been thinking about an episode from my earlier life. I got pregnant one month before my 16th birthday. It was literally the first time I’d had sex; we used a condom, and it broke. That’s all it took. As you can imagine, I was devastated. I know it sounds dramatic, but I felt betrayed by life, and I decided to terminate my pregnancy. Well, 19 years later, I’m actually still friends with my ex, who lives in another state. He is married and has gorgeous children and I couldn’t feel happier for him! My current boyfriend (of eight years) is . . . OK. We have our issues due to his online habits, where he gets involved with other women. But, despite his lapse in judgment concerning these so-called “emotional affairs,” do I “owe it to him” to tell him the truth about my history? He wants children someday. I have zero desire for children, or to be a mother. He just assumes that all women want to have babies. I really want to tell him of my past, but I’m 35 now. Does my choice when I was a teenager really matter? If it does and he judges me, does he matter?

Not a Mom

DEAR NOT: You have been with Mr. “Just OK” for eight years. So my first question for you is why you stay with someone you don’t trust, and who is so . . . meh?

Secondly, if you have kept this knowledge so close for the entirety of your relationship with him, why tell him now?

I suspect that down deep, this is a test of sorts. You tell him about the abortion, he judges and rejects you and your relationship ends (in your mind) because of his reaction, and in his mind because of your long-ago choice.

I don’t think there is a right answer concerning disclosing this choice that you made when you were 15. But I do know this: If you trusted him enough to make a life with him, you would probably have told him a long time ago. If he trusted you completely with his own life and future, he wouldn’t be looking for emotional relationships with other women online.

Your complete mismatch concerning the desire to have children is reason enough to part. Either you haven’t clearly communicated this to him, or he doesn’t believe you.

Aside from your relationship with Mr. OK, there is a deeper reason you are ruminating about this now. A therapist could help you to really sort it out. The insight will set you free.

DEAR AMY: Oftentimes I see people scoop up food at buffet tables (or from party trays), smell the food, then put it back on the trays. I personally think that is very disgusting. They might think that this is OK to do because they did not actually “touch” the food. What are your thoughts on this?

Christine in California

DEAR CHRISTINE: Yes, I agree that it is gross to pick up food, smell it and then put it back into the public supply.

Even if you don’t touch the food, if you get it close enough to your nose to inhale and smell it, then you are also close enough to exhale all over it.

I assume many of us have faced the awkwardness of taking food that you quickly realize you don’t want. If you get to the sniffing stage, you’re at the point of no-return.

If you know someone who is doing this, you should ask them not to do it. If you witness this, you should troll the opposite end of the buffet.

DEAR AMY: I know you’ve had lots of responses concerning whether to invite a troublesome parent to a wedding. Here’s my story: One sister invited my alcoholic father to her wedding. He disappeared and left her alone on the dance floor, and was eventually escorted out after shoving a groomsman. My other sister did not invite him, due to her wish to avoid a similar scene. She regrets it immensely, and wishes she would have gotten a “minder” for him. I married last and invited him, with a minder, and laying ground rules out ahead of time. He was on his best behavior, and it was a wonderful day without worries because I was honest about my expectations.

AML

DEAR AML: The same challenging guest inspired three different outcomes. I’m happy your solution worked.

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