Dear Dr. Wallace:
I am 20 and the mother of a three-year-old son. My husband is also 20 and I love him with all my heart and soul.
About a month ago, I found out that my “first love” (we went steady for four months when we were both 15) was killed in an automobile accident. He was driving to his fiance’s house when a drunk driver who ran a red light hit his car. Teddy was killed instantly while the drunk driver, ironically, was not seriously injured.
His death was a tremendous shock and it has been an emotional strain on me ever since I found out about it. When he died I had no romantic feelings toward him whatsoever and I’m positive he had no romantic feelings toward me, but I know he would have grieved if I ‘d been the one who died.
My problem is that my husband and my parents are upset with me because I have mourned his death. Am I wrong for feeling this way?
Dear Heather: I discussed your question with a clinical psychologist recently and was told that your feelings about the loss of a former friend are natural and sincere. Friends and acquaintances are to be mourned at their passing. Your husband and parents need to relax about this matter and honor your feelings. They are making a major mistake by making you feel guilty.
Dr. Wallace: I was reading your column about the 14-year-old who was sexually active and thought she could handle this situation. I am now 26, but this letter made me reflect on my own life. I, too, became sexually active at 14 and before I turned 17, I had been pregnant not once but twice. Both of my pregnancies each ended in a miscarriage. Luckily my mother helped me through these difficult times.
From experience I know it’s hard to warn a 14-year-old about all the hazards involved in a sexual relationship because at that age, most girls feel they know it all.
Believe me, no matter how much you know, something is bound to go wrong and it will. I am now happily married with a beautiful three-year-old son. My husband is aware of my unfortunate past and I am blessed because he is a loving, forgiving man.
Kansas City, Mo.
Dear Nameless: Thanks for sharing a part of your life with our teen readers. Your message is an important one for all to hear.
Dr. Wallace: I am 17 and will be in college this fall. My parents are divorced and I’ve lived with my mother alone for two years. My parents had a bitter separation so my mother refused to allow my father to see me even though he had the legal right to do so. He mostly stayed away because he didn’t want to cause me any problems.
I want to invite my father to my high school graduation for two reasons. First, he is helping pay for my college education and second, I happen to love him. Even though I haven’t seen him in two years, I miss him and I love him. My mom is a special lady and I love her, too. She does not want my father at the graduation ceremony. Should I invite my dad?
Fort Worth, Tx.
Dear Nameless: Your father deserves to see his daughter graduate from high school and should get an invitation to do just that!
Write to Dr. Wallace at