Thursday, April 21, 2005

Dear Abby:

A few days ago, "Deanna," my girlfriend of 3 1/2 years, told me she wanted to break up. Then we got into a serious fight and I lost my temper big time. I never hit her, but I did throw some things. She got really scared because I used to black out when I got that mad. It's the first time in three years that I was ever that mad.

Deanna went to stay with her mom because she said she was afraid of me. We have since talked a little, and she says she still cares about me. We both said a lot of things we didn't mean, and I don't know how to explain myself.

I have since started seeing a counselor to control my temper. But Deanna is giving me mixed signals about what she wants. This is making me severely depressed and I don't know what to do. Can you please help me? I love her more than anything in the world.

Deeply Depressed in Ohio

It's an intelligent person who recognizes that he has a problem and takes steps to do something about it. I commend you for getting professional help.

It is possible for two people who love each other to bring out the worst in each other rather than the best. When a longtime girlfriend says she wants to break up, and then follows it up by saying she "cares about you" rather than loves you, the romance is usually over.

Before trying to pursue this woman any further, you should discuss the entire situation with your counselor.

Dear Abby:

My son, who is 19, went to his aunt and uncle's during the New Year's holidays. They live 3 1/2 hours away from us. On his way back home, he got a speeding ticket.

Do you think we were wrong to make him return his Christmas gifts as punishment? His ticket cost $970 including attorney's fees. Our son thinks we were out of line.

Disgusted in Georgia

The punishment should fit the crime -- and in this case, I don't think it did. Rather than returning his Christmas gifts, a better "punishment" would have been for him to repay the money you fronted on his behalf. Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby athttp://www.DearAbby.comor P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069.

2005Universal Press Syndicate

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