Dear Abby: I’ve been friends with “Lorraine” for 30 years. Actually, the friendship is kind of one-sided because she bugs the hell out of me.
She’s a super-skinny health nut who constantly posts health advice and “uplifting” mantras on social media. Her Instagram feed is filled with pictures of her bland-looking vegan food and her doing yoga poses or running 5Ks in midriff tops so we can all see her six-pack abs. She regularly donates blood plasma and posts pictures of that, too.
Dining with her is embarrassing because she grills the waiters on how the food is prepared, even in vegan restaurants that list all ingredients. She comes off – to me, anyway – as thinking she has every facet of life figured out. She has been married twice to two jerks, keeps breaking and making up with “Harry,” a seemingly nice guy, because he’s fat (he’s slightly plump yet attractive) and drinks too much (not sure about that). Her son, whom she treated as an annoyance and inconvenience when he was young, is now a gun-toting drug dealer.
I’m not perfect (I know I’m lazy, impatient and drink too much), but I don’t portray myself as otherwise. My husband, a nicer person than I am, doesn’t understand my resentment of Lorraine and keeps reminding me how much she loves me. She does. We’re both in our 50s, but I feel like I’ve outgrown our friendship.
By the way, I don’t think I’m jealous of her because I’m very happy in my marriage and feel that I am more attractive than she is (despite outweighing her). Must I stay friends with Lorraine? If not, how do I end it? – Canceling Her in Kansas City
Dear Canceling: It appears you have a love/hate relationship with Lorraine. Nothing is wrong with you, and no law says you must maintain a friendship with her. When contact becomes more of an annoyance than a pleasure, many people begin editing their circle of acquaintances. The way to end your relationship with her would be to make yourself less available when she calls or wants to get together. If she asks you why, explain that you have fewer of the same interests than you used to, while omitting the part about her six-pack abs.
Dear Abby: I am a widow. My husband passed away three years ago after 43 years of marriage. I met a widower who was also married for 43 years. His wife passed five years ago.
My grown children and grandchildren refuse to accept him. My therapist and psychiatrist tell me to stand my ground because I’m in love with him, as he is with me. Even my priest, who officiated at my husband’s funeral, said I should consider this relationship as heaven-sent.
We get along beautifully, and it breaks my heart that my family wants me to choose between him or them. I am devastated over this because this is not how my family is. We are in love, and although I love my family with all of my heart, I don’t think they have the right to gang up against me. May I have your opinion on this? – Devastated Mother
Dear Devastated: What a painful situation. You say this isn’t how your family is. Open your eyes, dear lady, and recognize that this is exactly who they are. Then open up your ears and pay attention to the psychiatrist and the therapist you are paying good money for, as well as your priest. My opinion is you must live your life, and my advice is to get on with it.
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.