DEAR ABBY: I'm not much of a drinker. I have nothing against drinking or those who do. I just do not like the taste of alcohol. Worse, I have a very low tolerance for it. After only half a glass of wine, I become so sleepy I can barely keep my eyes open. It makes me feel physically awful.
My husband takes offense to the fact that I don't want to drink. When we're out with friends, he'll have three or four beers and pressure me to the point of embarrassment in front of them until I finally give in and order a glass of wine. Of course, I then spend the rest of the evening feeling terrible. When we get home, he'll want to be intimate, but I just want to go to sleep, which aggravates him further.
I have tried for several years to discuss this with him, but he can't explain why he does this. What can I do? -- JUST WATER, PLEASE
DEAR JUST WATER: Your husband is a drinker. He may be self-conscious about the amount he imbibes and feels less so if he has a drinking buddy (that's you), willing or not. To say the least, his behavior is inconsiderate -- and I mean all of it.
When someone is involved with a problem drinker, and from your description of his behavior your husband is one, the place to start looking for answers is Al-Anon. To find a meeting close to you, go online to al-anon.org. Please don't wait.
DEAR ABBY: My best friend, "Cecily," has just come out to me as being a lesbian. We are both 15. I have tried my best to make her feel accepted and comfortable. But whenever she wants something from me and I refuse, she says I'm "treating her badly because she's gay."
I let it go the first couple of times, but now she does this every time she wants something. When I finally confronted her about it, she went to her mother and said I was bullying her because of her being gay. Her mother yelled at me and told me to "get my act together or get out of her life." Her mother is like a second mother to me.
Other than this, Cecily has been a great friend. This has gotten way out of hand. Abby, I have tried everything. What do I do? -- WAY OUT OF HAND IN NEW YORK
DEAR WAY OUT OF HAND: Cecily may react this way because she's newly out and hypersensitive to being discriminated against for being gay. (For too many gay teens, this is a sad reality.)
Consider asking your mother to talk to Cecily's mother and explain that you're not homophobic but feel her daughter is being manipulative. If the woman hears it from another adult, she may talk to her daughter about it. However, if that doesn't work, you may have to decide if it's worth it to continue the relationship under these circumstances.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)