DEAR ABBY: I'm a male in my early 50s. As a shy 21-year-old, I had minor surgery to straighten a small (but at the time, to me, ginormous) hump on my nose. I didn't tell many people and it boosted my confidence, and although I can't say I regret it, looking back I don't think it was really needed. I met my wife a few years later and didn't think it was important enough to mention, which doesn't bother me.
What does bother me is my daughter, 23 and happily married, is complaining about the small hump on her nose and seriously contemplating surgery to fix it. She says she's the only one in the family with such a nose. Her husband and my wife, neither one of whom are fans of minor cosmetic surgery, are urging her to not do it. I have kept my mouth shut so far.
I hate bringing something up I've kept from my wife all these years, yet I have this nagging feeling I'm betraying my daughter by not telling her she has the nose I was born with. I also worry that she'll find out and feel betrayed if I say nothing. Am I obligated to tell her? Am I a jerk if I don't? Does she have a right to know about her father's true nose? -- INDECISIVE DAD IN THE USA
DEAR INDECISIVE: You are behaving as though a rhinoplasty is something to be ashamed of. It's not! Speak up and tell your wife your daughter inherited your nose and that fixing yours gave you self-confidence. Then be honest with your daughter. She's an adult. What she chooses to do with the nose on her face should be her decision and no one else's because no one else will be wearing it.
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DEAR ABBY: A year ago, my boyfriend of two years and I broke up. We had never had an argument. Then one night we did, and we both said things we shouldn't have. Since that day, he hasn't spoken to me again. He has ignored all my phone calls and my attempts to work things out. I have tried to move on, but I can't seem to. I have been devastated ever since because I truly loved him.
I recently started seeing a guy I like, but when it comes down to it, I can't let go of my ex-boyfriend. I am paralyzed by my emotions. Mostly I feel betrayed. He has destroyed every perception I had about relationships, like being there for each other through the good and bad. How can I help myself heal? -- MOTIONLESS IN GEORGIA
DEAR MOTIONLESS: Not all romances are meant to lead to marriage. Intelligent adults don't necessarily agree on everything, but they should be mature enough to discuss their differences without resorting to vitriol. If your ex-boyfriend's reaction to a disagreement was to run for the hills, better that you learned it after two years rather than, say, five.
I subscribe to the philosophy that our relationships -- whether successful or failed -- teach us important lessons about life. Sometimes we must accept life as it is rather than our fantasy of what we would like it to be. Because you haven't been able to progress beyond the romance you had with your ex, you will save yourself additional pain and wasted time if you discuss it with a licensed mental health professional.
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.
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