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Friendship Wanes as Women's Lives Take Different Paths

DEAR ABBY: I have been best friends with a woman for 30 years, but lately our relationship has become strained. If I do something that irritates her, she gives me the cold shoulder and won't return my phone calls. When she eventually calls back, she's distant and cold.

I was out of the country for an extended period, and when I returned, she was upset with me for not phoning her. Now she's upset with me because my husband and I missed an important milestone because of a family emergency.

I am tired of her passive-aggressive behavior, and I have come to realize that our lives have taken us in different directions. Mine is family-oriented. Hers is not because she has no children. Am I wrong to feel this way? -- FRUSTRATED IN NEW MEXICO

DEAR FRUSTRATED: No, your perception is accurate. Your "bestie" appears to be unusually high maintenance. Rather than allow her to make you feel guilty, realize that not all friendships last forever, and this one may have run its course. Talk to her and express your feelings about this, but be prepared for the fact that it will probably end your relationship.

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