DEAR ABBY: I thought I had a best friend. We got to know each other when we worked together for almost four years. He's straight, I'm gay and we're total opposites. However, he taught me how to fish and took me shooting at his family's ranch; we would go to dinners/lunches and go to the city. He's a few years older than I am (he's in his 30s).
When I went to rehab for six weeks, he came to visit me. But when I celebrated my first year of sobriety a few months back, he never congratulated me. I found a new job almost a year ago, so we stopped seeing or contacting each other.
Looking back, I was always the one asking to hang out and planning the days when we would do fun things together. I feel hurt that he hasn't checked in with me, but I feel like my friendship should be valued and that friendships should be a two-way street.
Am I being childish? Is it too late to reach out? It's been six months with no contact. I thought I showed him how much I cared about our friendship. It would have meant a lot to me if he had reached out to see how I was doing. -- FRIENDLESS GUY IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR FRIENDLESS GUY: The fact you no longer work together may have something to do with his silence -- out of sight, out of mind. Were you really the one who initiated the fishing trips and visits to his family's ranch? If not, it seems to me that he was doing his part in maintaining the friendship.
It's possible he may have met someone and be involved in a romance, or just busy. If you were the heavy lifter in your relationship, you should not expect him to change. I think it's time you reached out and checked in.
DEAR ABBY: Lately I have been feeling torn between staying in my relationship or leaving. I have always maintained I was doing the right thing for my kids by staying with their father. He's a good man, but he has always said he never wanted kids. At times he can be a really fun father, however, more often than not, he chooses not to do things with us.
I don't want my kids to miss out on a full and memorable childhood, but he is more focused on his own wants and needs. We have a family vacation trip planned with my family, and he has chosen not to go and instead take a week for himself to do what he wants to do.
I want my kids to have a father who wants to be in their lives and do things with them, but this doesn't seem to be what he wants. I don't know what to do. Help, please. -- WANTS WHAT'S BEST IN IDAHO
DEAR WANTS: If your partner made clear that he didn't want children, how is it that you had at least two with him? If you leave him so your children will have a father who wants to be in their lives, how do you plan to conjure one up?
What you need to do is evaluate your options and not overreact. Discuss this with someone who is rational and unbiased. You didn't list any of the positive traits this "good man" possesses. Be careful before making any rash decisions. No one's perfect, and he may become more hands-on as the kids get older.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)