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    Advice Columns
    Monday, November 28, 2022

    Navigating old and enduring relationships in a new marriage

    DEAR ABBY: I recently married "Joel," a man I love very much. While we have our differences, we are solid in the knowledge that we love each other and are in this marriage for the long haul.

    Our wedding pictures just arrived and, after going through them together, I asked my husband to create a digital album to share with our family and friends, as I'm very busy with work. I just had a moment to look through the album he created and saw he had omitted a picture of my male best friend "Logan" and me hugging as Joel and I left the reception. It was a very special moment for me because I grew up with Logan and consider his family an extension of mine.

    When I explained this to my husband, he expressed that he understands. I feel very hurt that this picture was omitted. Joel has expressed in the past that he isn't comfortable with me hugging males who are not family members. It has been a point of contention between us, and after a couple of long talks on the subject I thought we had reached a resolution.

    Before the wedding, I found out Joel still had pictures of ex-girlfriends in his phone. When I confronted him about it, he said he kept them for memories but would delete them, which he did. Now that we're married I have noticed he brings up his past dating life a lot. I have asked him to stop, but he keeps doing it.

    I feel like this is a double standard. I must distance myself from male friends, but Joel gets to keep his connections with ex-girlfriends. I don't know how to broach this with him because it is so early in our marriage. I could use some advice.

    – UPSET NEWLYWED IN TEXAS

    DEAR NEWLYWED: You and your husband are overdue for a serious discussion. There's a difference between mentioning one's past dating life and maintaining connections to those individuals. IF Joel is staying in touch with them, he is employing a double standard and you need to talk it over. You may have to keep reminding him that talking about his past romances makes you uncomfortable and ask why he persists in spite of knowing it does.

    The photo of you and Logan hugging at the end of the reception may have been omitted because it wasn't a memory of your wedding day that your husband felt was relevant. Now that you have explained its significance, ask Joel to add it if that's possible. But do it when you are both calm and relaxed so it isn't contentious and you can both clear the air.

    DEAR ABBY: I was recently diagnosed with pre-diabetes. I have been very good at adopting a no-sugar and low-carb diet. The problem occurs when I eat outside my home. At birthday parties, I am filled with anxiety around eating. If I say no to the sugary desserts, one of three things is guaranteed to happen: I'm accused of trying to be skinny, told the food is wasted because I don't eat it, or I feel guilty because I acquiesced. I find myself refusing offers to eat out because I dread the inevitable. What can I say to people so that they will respect my food restrictions?

    – FOOD ANXIETY-RIDDEN IN NEW YORK

    DEAR F.A.R.: All you have to say is, "My doctor recently diagnosed me with pre-diabetes and I don't want it to progress any further. So, no thank you!"

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