DEAR ABBY: My friend has decided she can no longer tolerate my husband. She feels he doesn't "respect" her. This is far from the truth, in my mind.
We have supported her emotionally and financially from time to time for many years. My husband does have a habit of making clunky jokes (anything for a laugh or to fill the void). But a real friend should see beyond that to the loving, supportive person he is at his core, in his heart, and forgive.
We are now banned from her social group. I find this very harsh -- cruel even. I guess my friendship doesn't count, as I'm being thrown out with the perceived trash as well. I'm depressed and angry, and I want some kind of revenge and to hurt her back. I was so happy with our little group. Now it's been taken away from me. Advice? -- TOSSED ASIDE IN NEW YORK
DEAR TOSSED: Yes. Rather than seek revenge, tell the woman how hurt you feel after having befriended her all these years. Time is our most precious commodity. The more time you spend plotting retaliation, the more space this ungrateful woman is taking up in your head, and it's not healthy -- for you.
Once you have spoken to her and gotten this off your chest, go on with your life. Continue to see others in the group on an individual basis, if necessary. If they are real friends, I'm sure they'll be glad to do that.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 34-year-old single mother (by choice) of a beautiful 3-year-old boy. Because of infertility problems, it took years for me to conceive. I love my son beyond measure and, when I'm not working, I'm usually shuttling him to extracurricular activities and making time after cooking and cleaning to play with him.
Because my world revolves around being a mom, I have a hard time participating in adult conversations without talking about my son and how proud and happy I am to be his mom. I realize this can be irritating to others, and it has become frustrating for me.
I'm educated, opinionated and well-read, but I seem to have lost the ability to relate to other adults and make friends away from my role as a mother. Any advice would be helpful at this point. -- PROUD TO BE A MOM
DEAR PROUD: Considering the fact that your total focus is on your child, it's not surprising he's your main topic of conversation. However, because you want to expand your repertoire, broaden it by bringing up current events, which should give you plenty of fodder for conversation.
DEAR READERS: I am honored to again participate in National Women's Health Week. Women are the primary caretakers in most societies -- including our own -- but in the process, we too often forget to care for ourselves by eating right, lowering our stress levels with regular exercise and scheduling regular medical checkups. Please don't procrastinate. National Women's Health Week is a perfect time to begin. Visit womenshealth.gov/nwhw for more information. -- LOVE, ABBY