Dear Abby: I am writing to you because I can share this anonymously. I am close to 60 years old and I'm terrified of the dentist. Every time I pick up the phone to make an appointment I get so anxious I feel like I'm going to die.
Do you think I will be able to find a caring, compassionate and nonjudgmental dentist? Are they out there? Sometimes I wish I could die instead of going to the dentist. Am I crazy? – Mrs. Anxiety in the U.S.A.
Dear Mrs. Anxiety: Let me put it this way – if you're crazy, you have a lot of company. Many people fear going to the dentist. However, there have been improvements in the field since you were a child – including sedation for people who choose "not to be there" while their dental problems are being attended to.
Good dental health is very important to our overall health, so please don't put off any further making an appointment. Tell the person who is booking the appointment what your needs are, and if that dentist can't accommodate you, ask for a referral to one who can.
Dear Abby: I have been a nanny for four families over the last 10 years. I am now working for a family of five. I don't make a lot of money, but I enjoy what I do.
My problem is all the gift-buying I feel required to do – such as on the children's birthdays, Christmas and the mom's birth of more babies. My employer is expecting yet another baby this summer and her 3-year-old has another birthday coming up.
I'm tired of the gift-buying and really can't afford to do it anymore. When the new baby is born, I am tempted to just say "Congratulations!" Any suggestions? – Gifted Out
Dear Gifted Out: Yes. When the newest addition to the family arrives, give your employer a nice card. You should not be expected to come up with a gift. You are already giving these children loving and responsible care and that is gift enough.
Dear Abby: During the first year of our marriage, my husband cheated on me with women from his past as well as new encounters. When I confronted him, he promised to stop. He would then call and email these women, and tell them I was checking up on him and he'd contact them later.
This has gone on for years. He swears he's no longer cheating, and we have sought counseling – which I stopped because the counselor and I agreed that my husband didn't think he had a problem.
When I confront him with my suspicions, he insists that I am "driving him away" by accusing him. He is very arrogant, and people who don't know him believe he's a great guy and I am the problem. I have considered revenge cheating, but it goes against my morals. I think about divorcing him, but then I think – what if I am wrong? What if he really is being faithful? What should I do? I love him. – Unsure in Texas
Dear Unsure: I agree that "revenge" cheating is not the solution to your problem. Hire a private detective and get to the bottom of this. If you're wrong, you need counseling to resolve your insecurities. However, if he's cheating, you will know you haven't been imagining things and can decide rationally if it's in your best interests to continue being married to a womanizer.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.