DEAR ABBY: I am a 27-year-old female who has been in numerous relationships in the past. All ended with my being unfaithful or having an overwhelming desire to be. I can't seem to maintain a relationship for more than a short period of time due to this.
I recently sat down and admitted to myself that I am practicing sexually destructive behavior. I know what I'm doing is just plain crazy, but I can't seem to stop. I did some research on sexual addiction and have considered attending meetings to help me get this under control.
The problem is, I told a (male) friend of mine about my problem. It was someone I care about and had a previous relationship with. I was shocked by his response. He said maybe my problem is I've been trying to stifle my desires and I should explore them more -- by attending sex parties with him! Was that an appropriate response? Frankly, it took me aback. I don't know who else to ask about this, as I have not confided in anyone else. Should I cut him out of my life or forgive his ignorance? -- LOST IN TEXAS
DEAR LOST: Cross this "friend" off your list immediately. Instead of supporting you, he is attempting to take advantage of your illness. You had it right the first time. Joining a group that will help you to overcome your compulsion will be a giant step toward healing. Please don't wait, and don't look back!
DEAR ABBY: I am 46 and the mother of two adult children, ages 27 and 29. I am on disability because of multiple sclerosis (MS). I am doing well, but I'm weak and tire easily, and it's important that I avoid stress. Both my parents died within the last five years.
My kids know I inherited money from my parents, and they throw it in my face when I don't pay for things for them. My married daughter believes it is my responsibility to provide money for her to go to college. She has been very nasty to me, including vicious name-calling and screaming. Each phone call ends in a request for money. Now she's refusing me access to my grandkids, and even drove to my house to rip their picture from my walls.
Abby, I have been on disability for several years. I need the money to take care of me. What do you think about adult children who hate me for inheriting? I have no intention of giving into the strong-arm tactics of a married woman. -- HURT IN ST. LOUIS
DEAR HURT: Good! Because you shouldn't. Neither of your children has a "right" to a penny of your money -- particularly in light of the fact that you need it for your own support. As to your daughter's outrageous behavior, has she always behaved like this? If so, remember this is the core of her personality. Giving her money won't change it.
DEAR ABBY: This is the first time I have ever written you, but I'd like your opinion about something. Do you think that good and moral qualities in a person are taught, instilled, or just come naturally to people? I'm talking about things like honesty, optimism, sincerity, tidiness, consideration, charity, fairness, etc. -- CURIOUS IN TEHACHAPI, CALIF.
DEAR CURIOUS: I believe the qualities you mentioned are taught, modeled by parents who set examples for their children to follow. And they are instilled when a child is very young.
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