DEAR ABBY: I have been dating "Ian" for seven months. We met at work, and my friends convinced me to go out with him. I thought he was a nice guy, just shy. Now that we've been dating, I realize that's not the case.
Ian plays video games. A lot. They consume his life. He gets so aggravated that he slams buttons and curses incessantly. My nerves can't handle hearing it. I have anxiety issues, and when he does it, I nearly have a panic attack. When I tell him it's just a game, he won't listen.
He is also critical of me. It's mostly about my weight, but he also tells me I'm horrible and stupid. He complains about the way I play video games, my cooking, etc. Sometimes he loses his temper and snaps at me. He has slapped me a few times.
He's never intimate with me, but I know he's straight because he watches porn when he thinks I'm asleep. We pretty much lead separate lives, but he talks about us getting our own place. We no longer work at the same company. I have a part-time job and go to school full time, but he won't even look for a job.
Part of me wants to end it. But this is my first real relationship, and I'm not sure if I can do any better. Help! - CONFLICTED IN VIRGINIA
DEAR CONFLICTED: End it now! You are looking at this the wrong way. From where I sit, it would be practically impossible for you to have a worse relationship than this one. Ian is immature, emotionally and physically abusive and unemployed. Men who care about women don't treat them the way he treats you.
Ian should not move anywhere with you. If he does, you will have a heck of a time getting this freeloader out. Not only that, you won't be able to find anyone else because it will appear that you're already "involved."
DEAR ABBY: I hear people all around me talk about their grandkids and the great times they have. I have grandkids, too, but I don't know how to be a grandmother. My mother didn't have the skill, and I don't know what to do.
I'm in my early 50s, and I'm trying to do things now that I didn't get to do when I was young. I raised my kids. Am I supposed to spend all my time with them? I'm not sure I even want to. Does that make me selfish? -LOST GRANDMA IN VIRGINIA
DEAR LOST GRANDMA: You don't have to spend "all" your time with your grandchildren. You should, however, see them every few weeks if possible so you can get to know each other.
Because you're not sure how to do that, ask their parents and some of your friends for suggestions on how to entertain them. It could be as simple as taking them to a movie, attending some of their school or sporting events, baking cookies together or taking them to a park during an afternoon.