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DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are trying to have children. He was raised Catholic, but is now agnostic. I'm also agnostic.

My deeply religious father-in-law insists that our future children be baptized Catholic. I'm against it because I think it should be a person's right to choose which faith, if any, to follow when they are ready. I also think it would be hypocritical to go through a baptismal ceremony, with godparents and vows to raise our child a certain way when we have no intention of doing it.

My husband thinks it would be best to baptize our future children to "keep the peace," because his father will never forgive us if we don't. I think it's our children, our lives, our ethics. Which of us is right? — OUT IN THE OPEN

DEAR OUT: You are, but I don't envy what's ahead for you. If you knuckle under to your father-in-law, it won't stop. You will be expected to follow through with a Catholic upbringing — first communion, Catholic schools, church attendance "for the children" and everything that comes with it.

You and your husband should bite the bullet, be upfront with his dad before you become pregnant and make plain how you plan to raise your children. If you aren't, raising them in a way you don't want could put a strain on your marriage. This should be your and your husband's decision to make and no one else's, and I don't recommend deviating from it.

DEAR ABBY: I have been married for four years, and all this time we have lived in separate houses. Now my husband is finally moving in with me. While I'm excited, I'm experiencing mixed emotions. He's an awesome man who treats me great. This is a second marriage for both of us. — MAKING THE LEAP IN FLORIDA

DEAR MAKING: Under the circumstances, your feelings are normal. This will be a big change for both of you. This is why it's important to talk about your feelings and expectations in advance, which might ease your stress. Being able to communicate honestly with each other is extremely important and will serve you well in the future. With this move you are opening up a new chapter in your lives, and I wish you many years of happiness together.

DEAR ABBY: Five years ago, when my wife and I were 35 years old, she agreed to be on a team with me and compete in some "adventure races." It was great fun. We had team T-shirts, trained together and were excited about our results. It brought us closer and created a real sense of camaraderie, adventure and mutual support into our marriage.

During one race a bull broke into the race grounds and chased us. Shortly thereafter, my wife quit the team and, sadly, many of the ancillary benefits declined as well. She will no longer be on a team with me. What should I do? — BENCHED IN GEORGIA

DEAR BENCHED: Because this is an activity you enjoy, you should keep going. Because your wife has chosen to retire from adventure racing, you should recruit another partner or find some other activity you both could enjoy together. (And that's no bull.)

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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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Jeanne Phillips
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