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Abigail van Buren

DEAR ABBY: After three years together, my fiance and I plan to be married next year. While we have the usual couples’ things going on, one concern is making me consider postponing the wedding or ending the engagement. My fiance has a son whose mental illness led him to withdraw from high school at 16. He has done nothing since. He doesn’t work, and his father hasn’t gotten him treatment for his issues.

I made it clear at the beginning of our relationship I have no desire for us to be lifelong caretakers to someone who refuses to help himself. He doesn’t want to tell his son to leave. No one wants to take him in, and he constantly flips between wanting treatment and not wanting treatment. I told my fiance he has until later this year to figure out what to do about this, or we will have to postpone the wedding. He said if we postpone now, what’s to stop me from postponing again in the future?

He mentioned we should work through this as a couple and get married with this unresolved, if necessary. I told him this is an important issue that needs to be resolved before the wedding. I applaud him for being a single father and raising his son from such a young age. Please let me know your thoughts on the situation. — Big Dilemma In Indiana

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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