DEAR ABBY: Every time I ask my friend, "Sally," if she wants to hang out, she says she has something else to do. A few weeks ago, she said she had to go out. About an hour later, while walking around the block, I noticed her car was there. I knocked on the door. Sally said she was getting ready to leave and besides she was on the phone. Does it take an hour to get ready to go out? I don't think so.
Sally and I have been friends since we were 4. I don't want to lose an old friend, but I'm not sure she really is a friend anymore. If she is, why does she keep ditching me? Should I consider her a friend? -- DITCHED IN NEW YORK
DEAR DITCHED: Consider her a friend, but a distant one. Not all friendships last forever. People change as they grow. Take the hint. Don't be a pest. Let her call you.
DEAR ABBY: I'm 14 years old. A lot of times when I am feeling really happy and I'm talking to friends on the Internet, all of a sudden I feel a wave of sadness. And I remember bad things, like when my best friend died when I was little. But then I'll feel happy again. I don't know why this happens all the time. What do you think? -- BUMMED OR NOT IN ILLINOIS
DEAR BUMMED OR NOT: Mood swings can be hormonal, especially at your age. However, since you were concerned enough to write to me, your next step should be to discuss the mood swings with your parents so they can schedule an appointment for a medical evaluation. There is probably nothing to worry about, but you should hear it from your doctor.
DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Lyle," and I have a 14-month-old child together. My two children from an earlier relationship and Lyle's son make up our family of six. Lyle and I make good money and we both collect child support from previous partners.
What bothers me is Lyle won't let me see his paychecks or combine our joint incomes in any way. I've asked if we could pool our money. On a monthly basis, I earn more than he does, so I don't understand his reluctance.
I'm not a compulsive shopper. I've never told him to give me the money. We even set up a joint checking account for tax purposes, but he refuses to put money into it.
Abby, I feel like I'm just a roommate who shares expenses. We split the bills down to the last penny, and he shops for "his" children separately. He won't even agree to put our insurance policies together, and we're with the same company! His answer is, "I've always done it this way."
Am I wrong? I always thought married couples shared things. I'm at my breaking point. Please help. -- FEELING LIKE A ROOMMATE, NOT A WIFE
DEAR FEELING LIKE A ROOMMATE: Nothing can be resolved until you and Lyle are able to communicate honestly. Marriage counseling could help to bring out the issues that need to be addressed. You feel "like a roommate" because you are being treated like one. Having been through one divorce, your husband may be afraid to commingle his assets with yours. (In other words, he may feel insecure about the durability of your marriage.) Since law is not my area of expertise, you would be wise to consult an attorney about how your husband's behavior could affect your future.
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