01/03/2011DEAR ABBY: My neighbor "Marlon" and I have been "friends with benefits" for almost two years. We hang out every day and our kids are friends. We talk about everything. Really, we are best friends. We have attempted to hide our affair from our children (8 years old and under) and from our exes. Many of our friends know, but it is never discussed.
My problem is, Marlon recently mentioned that he wants to find a "good woman." It upset me because I'm in love with him. At the same time, he makes no effort to meet anyone. He is always with me -- when you'd think he'd be out trying to meet women. Although we agreed to be "FWBs," I don't want to be Marlon's security blanket. How do I let him know I want more? -- LOVES MY NEIGHBOR
DEAR LOVES YOUR NEIGHBOR: Revisit the subject with Marlon and ask him how many "good women" he thinks he can handle, because he already has one. It couldn't hurt to mention that you are in love with him and have taken your relationship seriously.
If one woman isn't enough for him, you will have to start looking for a good man -- one who won't monopolize your time and take you for granted. Please understand that if Marlon is serious about looking elsewhere for someone to settle down with, you cannot invest any more time or emotion in him.
DEAR ABBY: I am in my 40s and voluntarily quit my job several months ago. My husband and I can afford it, and my job was making me miserable.
My problem is the reaction I get when I tell people. I hear, "Oh, how could you quit your job in this economy?" or, "Aren't you bored?" I volunteer as well as participate in social activities I didn't have time for when I was working. I feel my decision is no one's business, but what do you suggest I say to those who give me negative reactions? -- TIRED OF THE GRIEF IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR TIRED OF THE GRIEF: Perhaps you should resist the urge to announce that you quit your job because it made you miserable. Few people can afford to do that these days, much as they might like to. When you are asked if you are employed, say that you are not. Do not be defensive. If you are questioned further, explain that you do not have a job outside the home, but that you do volunteer work for causes that interest you. If that creates a negative reaction, let it be the other person's problem and not yours.
DEAR ABBY: I became a grandmother a year ago. My son told me I have to join a social networking site if I want information about, or to see pictures of, my grandson. He claims I can find out all I need to know on his profile page.
Abby, I'm not asking for pictures to be sent in the mail, nor am I requesting constant calls about what is taking place. I'm not completely computer illiterate, but I do have an aversion to being grouped with everyone else. I am his mother, but I don't feel as though he thinks of me as someone special.
Am I totally out of touch with today's technology? -- OLD-FASHIONED GRANDMA IN MONTANA
DEAR OLD-FASHIONED: You're not out of touch with today's technology, but you are out of touch with the place that it holds in the lives of people of your son's generation -- as well as many of your own. If you feel in some way disrespected by your son, work it out with him. But please do not allow this to be turned into a power struggle, because you will only alienate yourself from him.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)