Dear Abby: Family meals repeatedly cause digestion issues

Published 9:23 am Wednesday, October 6, 2021

DEAR ABBY: My husband was instructed by his doctor to avoid dairy due to a chronic condition that negatively impacts his daily life. Around the same time, his father and his girlfriend began implementing the keto diet into their lifestyle. We are often invited to their home for game night. She takes pride in preparing a home-cooked meal for everyone. We’ve been open about my husband’s dietary restrictions, but dairy remains a heavily used ingredient in these dishes, and it is often hidden or disguised by a different name depending on its preparation.

She seems to think that because my husband isn’t “allergic” to dairy, it’s OK for him to consume it. However, because we’ve both changed our diets to exclude dairy, these visits often end in stomach pains and, for him, other discomforts that may last for days. We enjoy the game nights, but fear a more direct approach will hurt our newfound relationship with his father’s soon-to-be bride. What would you suggest? — RESTRICTED IN ARIZONA

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DEAR RESTRICTED: I suggest you be VERY direct (and descriptive) with your father-in-law and his soon-to-be fiancee about the effect that dairy products have on your husband! Pain for days? That’s terrible. And if your husband’s dietary restrictions can’t be accommodated, either eat beforehand or bring your own food to the gathering.


DEAR ABBY: I am 55 and have waited for the right man. The only regret I have is that I didn’t find him earlier because I went into early menopause at 33. I wish my values weren’t so strict, but I have met someone who seems to respect my desire to wait until marriage.

The problem is our relationship has many negatives. We live two hours apart. He loves to gamble. I am educated, and he has a learning disability. Most of the time, I feel like I am in fourth place in his life behind his family, his friends and his gambling. I don’t feel he really wants to be with me. I sometimes wonder if it’s because of the sex thing. However, I don’t want a relationship based on sex. I want him to want to spend his time with me, and I want us to become one and I don’t see it happening. I also don’t believe he can budget for anything more than paying his bills and gambling the rest of his money.

It doesn’t seem like he would choose to be with me rather than with his friends and family. Am I wanting too much? I’m afraid what he is after is security, not a loving relationship where you become one in life. — WAITING FOR MR. RIGHT

DEAR WAITING: I don’t think you want too much. What you are searching for is what most people want — a life partner who is considerate, loving and whose values are close to their own. Because you suspect this person is after financial security, please listen to your gut. If you really believe you are four notches down on his list of priorities, do not settle. End this “romance” now.


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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


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