|DEAR ABBY: I'm 19 and have a dear friend, "Emily," who is offended by cussing. She literally has never said a curse word in her life. When I'm around her I never use swear words because I respect her and her friendship.
My issue is that Emily gets very upset if people swear around her. There have been nights that she ended up in tears because someone used foul language. She also angrily confronts people on this issue.
I commend my friend on her decision not to curse, but I think it's unrealistic of her to expect everyone in the world to bend to her morals. I also think it's wrong for her to try to force them. Abby, what are your thoughts? -- CHALLENGED FRIEND IN LARAMIE, WYO.
DEAR CHALLENGED: If Emily prefers not to be in the company of people who use four-letter words, that's her privilege. And if she finds it offensive, she has a right to speak up and make it known. But to "wind up in tears" because someone used foul language -- as long as it wasn't directed toward her -- is overreacting. And for her to angrily confront someone about it would only invite more of the same. Emily will be much happier if she spends more time in the company of people who feel as she does.
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DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I are in a serious relationship. Not long ago we got on the topic of marriage and what we are looking for. He comes from a religious family and I do not. His mother says if we don't get married in a church with a religious ceremony, she won't consider me her daughter-in-law and we won't be a married couple.
I want a civil ceremony, something outside and casual. Thankfully, my boyfriend agrees with me. We're just not sure how to deal with his mom and her point of view. What should we do? -- LOOKING TO THE FUTURE IN NEW YORK
DEAR LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: What you should do depends upon to what degree you want to placate his mother. Having the casual ceremony you want in the setting of your choosing, and afterward having your union blessed in a clergyperson's study, might be a workable compromise.