DEAR ABBY: I’ve been in a relationship with a wonderful man for two years. He’s a minister.
He and his late wife used to travel all over the world spreading the word. I’m from a less conservative, more spiritual background. I attend an all-denominational church that accepts everyone.
My views on politics are also different from his. He constantly quotes the Bible and believes I’ll go to hell if I don’t follow the word of God daily. I was baptized Pentecostal at a young age, but that is not something I believe anymore, and his constant preaching is exhausting.
I am a strong woman, and I have voiced how I feel about this. He’s the best man I’ve ever been with. He’s kind, considerate, loving, helpful and loves my family. I am recovering from Guillain-Barre syndrome, and he has helped me walk, helped out in the business and has been so good to me.
I am now mostly recovered, and everything would be perfect except for politics and religion. Is there any hope for us?
— DISCORDANT IN COLORADO
DEAR DISCORDANT: Successful relationships (and marriages) are based on communication, mutual respect and boundaries.
This man may be saying you’ll go to hell if you don’t live the word of God daily — I would love to know exactly what he means by that — but if his quoting chapter and verse repeatedly makes you uncomfortable, living with him must be a different kind of hell.
While some couples are able to negotiate around their political and religious differences, please remember these are two topics that cause many marriages to fail.
It would be wonderful if you can work out a compromise. But unless this man can accept you for who you are and refrain from trying to change you, keep him as a friend and nothing more.
DEAR ABBY: I’m a gay man who has been in a relationship with “Jake” for 42 years. We have had many difficult relationship challenges, but we have always stayed together and recently got married.
Our current issue is the thermostat. Jake is cold when the temperature in the summer is set lower than 75 degrees. I suggest he use more covers or clothes to stay warm since I cannot do anything more than throw off all the covers and lie there sweating. He insists I’m being unreasonable for wanting to have a cooler bedroom.
I know sleep experts recommend sleeping temperatures in the 60-degree range. I can deal with warmer temps than that, but 75 is hot!
How can I communicate that he can cover up to be comfortable, while I cannot uncover any more?
— HOT IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR HOT: You have already communicated rationally with your husband.
Offer him the option of using a heating pad or a dual-control electric blanket to keep himself warm at night. The other option would be to sleep in separate bedrooms.
You need your sleep, and so does he. When people are sleep-deprived, they are not their best selves, no matter what the temperature is.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.