Couple’s open relationship may end up closing theirs
DEAR ABBY: I am a 24-year-old woman and currently live with my boyfriend. We have a child. Before we started living together, we discussed having an open relationship. We realized how messy it can be, so we agreed on having a “free pass” with ONE person, ONE time. I have met that person; it is a woman. At first, my boyfriend was OK with it. But now that I’m ready to do it, he’s acting jealous.
I told him I would stand by his side if he changed his mind about me doing this,
but I’m excited to experience this alone and not have him involved. Help, please, Abby? — CARRYING OUT THE PLAN IN CALIFORNIA DEAR CARRYING OUT: Your boyfriend may be feeling insecure because he is afraid of losing you. But this is what he agreed to — a “free pass” with one person. If you feel you need to further explore your sexuality and he is unwilling to allow it, then it’s time to rethink your relationship with him because you may not be as suited to each other as you both thought. And, by the way, the same may be true for him. If he needs someone who is a one-man woman, then you may not be it. DEAR ABBY: My son “Pete” is a felon from an incident that cost him six years in a federal penitentiary. He has one more year left on parole.
He married a professional “psychic” he met online who we believe has borderline personality disorder. There have been several instances of serious physical abuse toward my son. He is constantly trying to adapt to her ever-changing moods to reduce these conflicts, to no avail. Yesterday she smashed a coffee pot into Pete’s face, causing a 3-inch gash. Then she took his guitar and smashed in the windows of his truck. When she’s not violent, she threatens to kill herself.
She recently moved here from the U. K. and must maintain a living situation with her husband for at least a year to establish citizenship. Pete wants to stick it out for the sake of his wife’s daughter.
I think my son should call the police and make a report, but he is afraid of how she would and will retaliate. She knows his background and could accuse him of anything, if it comes down to a “he said/she said” situation.
I’m not sure what to do, Abby. Any thoughts? — DESPERATE MOM IN MARYLAND DEAR DESPERATE MOM: For his own safety, your son should not continue living with someone as volatile as this woman. Pete could be even more seriously injured in her next attack if he stays.
When she acts out again — notice I didn’t say “if” — I agree that he should call the police and make a report. He should also go to an emergency room for treatment and to have his injuries photographed. If his parole officer doesn’t know what has been going on, he or she should be informed. If Pete thinks his wife could harm her daughter, he should report it to child protective services. He should never have allowed himself to be held hostage by her threats to kill herself, which is classic emotional blackmail.
This “citizenship” marriage has been a sham from the beginning, and your son should end it. DEAR ABBY: I recently started a new job, and the past three months have been wonderful! One co-worker in particular has contributed to that. He’s a tall, handsome man with a great personality. We get along wonderfully, socialize outside of work, and we flirt … a lot. We have briefly talked about being friends with benefits, but I’m not sure how I feel about it. I have never been FWB with anyone before, and I am very nervous about the possible downside. I am very attracted to this co-worker, but I also consider him a great friend who could potentially someday be even more than a friend.
I am scared that being FWBs would ruin our friendship and any possible future we may have. Should I accept being an FWB and enjoy it while it lasts, or decline and explain to him why? — FRIENDS WITHOUT BENEFITS IN VIRGINIA DEAR FRIENDS: If I were you, I’d enjoy the flirtation for as long as it lasts and pass on being his FWB. While “friends with benefits” may seem enticing, what it really stands for is “sex without commitment or responsibility,” and in the majority of instances it leads to — nothing. Couple that with the fact that if you do, and someone else attracts his attention, you will not only have to cope with hurt feelings, but also the embarrassment of still having to work with him. So start thinking with your head, and don’t do anything you might later regret. TO MY JEWISH READERS: Tonight at sundown, Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, begins. It’s a day of fasting, reflection, prayer and repentance.
To all of you, may your fast be an easy one. DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 30 years. A couple of months ago, my 26-year-old daughter discovered that my wife, her mother, has been having an affair for the past four years. It has been very traumatic for all of us. My wife and I are working it out and attending counseling.
My wife and daughter used to be close, but ever since the discovery, my daughter has not spoken to her mom. She says she needs time and doesn’t want me “pressuring” her. My daughter will be in her best friend’s wedding in the fall, and I received an invitation addressed only to me (with an option for a guest). My wife cried for an hour. I told my daughter I didn’t want to attend without my wife, but she doesn’t want her mother there. Where do my loyalties lie? — BROKENHEARTED IN PENNSYLVANIA DEAR BROKENHEARTED: Your daughter has had time to make peace with her mother. If her mother has reached out to her and has been rejected, it appears your daughter is unwilling. You can’t fix that. If you are really working things out with your wife, your loyalties should lie with her. Why the wedding invitation you received wasn’t addressed to Mr. and Mrs. is beyond me. But if your daughter inserted herself into her friend’s invitation process, it shouldn’t have been allowed.
DEAR ABBY: I work for a small nonprofit organization as the operations manager. When I arrived at the office this morning, I started my morning routine, which includes adding copy paper to the company copier that all staff members use. While doing it, I noticed something had been left on it from the previous evening. I picked it up, examined it to see who it belonged to and saw it was an email printed out from my manager about a change in personnel regarding the operations manager. Since I am still employed there, I am assuming they intend to replace me. Should I confront my manager, or should I start looking for a new job? — FLUMMOXED IN THE MIDWEST DEAR FLUMMOXED: If I were you, I would do both — in reverse order. Your manager’s carelessness is unfortunate.
DEAR ABBY: I’ve been seeing a man for 15 months. I know he has three sisters and a brother. All he has said is they are not close and he doesn’t keep in touch with them. There are no cards at holiday time, no phone calls or any mention of any of them (there are nieces and nephews, too), and no explanation about why they don’t talk. Should I be concerned that he doesn’t share any of this with me? He has been very involved with my entire family, but I have never met a single relative of his. — KEPT IN THE DARK IN MASSACHUSETTS DEAR KEPT IN THE DARK: After 15 months of dating, you should be able to discuss this with him and get some honest answers.
There are probably good reasons why this man and his family are estranged. They may have been abusive to him, or he may be the black sheep of the family. But you will never know unless you ask directly. DEAR ABBY: A very good friend of mine had a facelift. I’m out of the country, so I have only seen pictures of her. I don’t think it looks good at all. It looks fake and, in my opinion, has ruined her looks.
What should I say when I see her or when she asks me directly what I think of it? I hate to lie, but I don’t want to hurt her feelings. — HONEST FRIEND DEAR HONEST: Sometimes people can be “too” honest, so be diplomatic if you are asked directly. Tell her you always thought she was beautiful — inside and out — and thought she looked great before, but if she’s happy with the result, that’s what’s important.
DEAR ABBY: I’m 13 years old, and I want to know how I can make my life easier and not be as shy as I am. I have a lot of friends at school, but of course they’re not popular either. I want to still have those friends, but I’d like to be able strike up conversations with other people.
When I try, I get nervous and chicken out before I can get a word out. I want to improve my communication skills and come across as more friendly and natural. My aunt told me you have a booklet that can help. If you do, how do I get one? — NICOLE FROM NEVADA DEAR NICOLE: Everybody wants to be well-liked, accepted, feel needed, appreciated — and of course, loved.
It’s essential to a person’s self-esteem to know other people think they’re worth having as a friend. If you think you’re alone in being shy, let me assure you that you have lots of company. No one emerges from the womb knowing how to be social. It’s a skill that has to be developed.
Like you, many others could use a little coaching on how to be the kind of person others find attractive, interesting and worth knowing. Achieving it isn’t always easy because social skills don’t come naturally to everyone. My booklet “How to Be Popular” contains tips on how to approach others, and what to say and NOT say when trying to make conversation. You can order one by sending your name and address, plus check or money order for $7 (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. When you get it, don’t just read it once. Keep it on hand for reference because it contains many helpful suggestions for polishing social skills — which, like any other skills, takes time, effort and practice.
DEAR ABBY: I have recently begun a relationship with my biological father, “Frank,” after not seeing him since I was 4. My mother and stepfather raised me and I am very close to them. But after talking to Frank and meeting him face to face, I have gotten close to him as well. His relationship with Mom ended badly. They were very young and he takes all the blame. Mom has always said that if I have a relationship with Frank, she wants no part of it. After I told her I have been talking to him for two years, she became upset and has been short with me and my wife ever since. I want to continue to develop what I have with my biological father, but I’m not sure how to handle Mom if she’s going to be so hurt and upset over it. Can you advise?
— ANDY IN GEORGIA DEAR ANDY: Tell your mother you have noticed a change in her behavior, and feel that she is punishing you for having an interest in knowing your biological father. If that’s the case, in the future do not discuss anything about Frank with her since she has made clear that she doesn’t want to hear it. If you haven’t discussed this with your stepfather, please consider enlisting his help because he may be able to explain your feelings to your mother better than you can. DEAR ABBY: I’m in ninth grade and my birthday is coming up. I invited a group of friends to go out and eat dinner at a nice restaurant, assuming everyone would pay for their own meal. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Some of them said they expect me to pay. Others think I’d be crazy if I did that and even insisted on paying for mine. If I pay for everyone to eat at a restaurant, it’s going to be pricy and my parents will be upset.
I can’t uninvite anyone, and it’s not like I can take them to a cheap fast food place. What do you think I should do? — SAD BIRTHDAY GIRL DEAR SAD BIRTHDAY GIRL: I think you should contact your prospective guests and start the conversation by saying, “Let me CLARIFY …” That way, anyone who wants to will be able to back out and there will be no misunderstandings. The lesson here is to never assume. DEAR ABBY: I quit school in the 1970s and joined the service.
I got my GED and I’m friends with a lot of the people I went to high school with. They constantly ask me to attend their high school reunion. My problem is, I didn’t graduate with my class and don’t know if I should go. I don’t want to feel awkward, but I’d love to see the classmates from that part of my life. What is protocol on this? — UNSURE IN ATHENS, OHIO DEAR UNSURE: Go to the reunion! I’m sure your former classmates will be as glad to see you as you will be to see them. It’s not as if this is a state dinner; it’s only a high school reunion, for heaven’s sake. DEAR ABBY: I was taught that punctuality is important.
My husband and I are almost always at least a few minutes early for everything we do. I realize not everyone can be — or wants to be — early. However, it seems that almost everyone we know is late. Sometimes it’s five minutes, others it’s 20 to 30 minutes.
And it’s not just people we know. I was kept waiting for 25 minutes by someone who was buying an item from me. Why do people think this is OK? I was taught that it’s rude to keep someone waiting for you. What are your thoughts on punctuality? P. S. I’m not talking about running late once in a while.
I’m talking about people who are consistently late everywhere they go. — AMBER IN THE SOUTH DEAR AMBER: I was raised the same way you were. My parents impressed upon me that it is disrespectful to keep people waiting, and that if a delay is unavoidable, the person who’s expecting me should be informed that I will be late. I’m not implying that someone must make an appearance at the stroke of the hour — a delay of 10 or 15 minutes is understandable. But to keep someone waiting longer than that is rude, disrespectful and bad manners. DEAR ABBY: I am dating a guy (seriously) who is fantastic. “Kyle” is smart, trustworthy, kind — and incredibly gorgeous.
The problem is, he has two Boston terriers who drive me crazy — one in particular whose breathing is so loud all the time that we can’t even hear a TV program or each other speak. That dog is super hyper and has destroyed numerous things in my house. Kyle’s house reeks of doggy odor, and the dogs also have horrible gas and vomit often. If we are staying over at my place, his dogs come with him. I hate it! It is the weirdest thing, but I notice my anxiety level rises when the dogs are here, running around and snorting uncontrollably.
There are other issues, but I don’t want to write a novel. I am trying to live in the moment and not let it bother me. But in this moment, it is intrusive and annoying.
What can I do? — BRYAN IN CHICAGO DEAR BRYAN: Kyle may be gorgeous, but he doesn’t appear to be a very responsible pet owner. He should have asked his veterinarian to check his dogs when he realized they were having repeated gastrointestinal upsets. As to the poor animals’ breathing, it may be because short-faced dogs are prone to breathing problems.
It’s possible that Kyle is so used to the doggy odor in his house that he no longer smells it. That’s why it couldn’t hurt to tell him YOU have noticed it, that it’s overwhelming, and it’s time to get a professional cleaning crew in there. DEAR ABBY: My daughter, “Kelly,” and I are arguing over whether she should take her trophies with her when she moves out on her own. I feel that when kids move out, they should take all their belongings. Kelly thinks I should keep the 10 to 15 trophies she won in beauty pageants when she was younger. I’d like to turn her bedroom into a guest room where visiting relatives can stay, but I’m having difficulty getting my daughter to take all her stuff. Although she has grown out of her childhood trophies, she expects me to hold onto them. I suggested she pack them up and store them in her attic so she can show her children her accomplishments one day. What do you think?
— BEAUTY QUEEN’S MOM IN INDIANA DEAR MOM: I think that if you want a guest room instead of a shrine to your daughter’s beauty contest achievements, you should set a deadline and insist that her trophies be removed. 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 Copyright 2015 Daily Journal Online.
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