Abby: Couple’s divergent interests may end in split

Dear Abby
Jeanne Phillips

Dear Abby: My husband of 12 years and I have few common interests. I’m earthy, nature-loving, people-loving and crave a rural lifestyle. He’s an introvert, loves everything Western, enjoys downtime and watches television lots. He dislikes animals and is a sports fanatic.

I don’t criticize his interests. I allow him his hobbies. My problem is, our dreams of the future can’t be combined. My off-the-grid homestead and his 70-inch TV don’t exactly fit.

It’s depressing that we don’t appreciate each other’s interests, and doing all of our hobbies separately is lonely. How can I experience my dreams when they are not my husband’s dreams?

Hippie Jane in Provo, Utah

Dear Hippie Jane: Try doing that by remembering what you had in common with your husband 13 years ago. Is the core of your relationship still good? Couples don’t have to be joined at the hip 24/7. Can’t each of you enjoy your hobbies and interests separately? Many couples do.

However, if the answer is you’ve grown increasingly apart in the last 12 years, the only way you can each experience your dreams may be to do it alone or with other like-minded people.

Dear Abby: I am deathly afraid of snakes! My daughter, who lives in Canada, recently informed me that they had acquired one through a teacher at my grandsons’ school.

We are going to visit my daughter and her family in a few weeks. I am terrified to the point of losing sleep and breaking down crying just thinking about it. What should I do?

Terrified in Cypress, Texas

Dear Terrified: If you were planning to stay at your daughter’s, scale back your plans and reserve a room at a nearby hotel or motel. This will give you eight or 10 hours a day nowhere near the reptile. If your daughter is unaware of your phobia, put her on notice that the snake is to be confined to its cage in a room with a firmly closed door while you are in the house — and further, you do not wish to make its acquaintance.

Talk to your doctor before you go and ask for enough anti-anxiety medication to calm your nerves while you are there. Then go and have a good time.

Dear Abby: I’m 13, and a girl in my grade likes me — REALLY likes me, but I think I’m too young. All my friends say I should go for it and have her as a girlfriend, but I’m not sure.

Not Quite Ready in Georgia

Dear Not Quite Ready: Determining when a person is “ready” for a romantic relationship isn’t something other people can or should decide. If you’re not sure you want a girlfriend right now, the fact that she likes you — REALLY likes you — isn’t as important as what YOU think and YOU feel. Let that be your guide and don’t allow your well-meaning friends to push you into anything.

Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.