DEAR ABBY: I am tired of taking a backseat to my boyfriend's video game addiction. He comes home from work, sits on the couch and gets lost in his video games. It has gotten to the point where he barely speaks to me or even looks up from his game.
I know he chats with a lot of people, both male and female, on these games. I suspect he has inappropriate conversations that he feels are harmless because he won't meet these people in person.
Constantly being ignored is hurting my feelings. He never responds to my texts anymore because he's so busy on his game. I'm starting to feel resentful, lonely and very angry. Please advise me on what to do. -- ANGRY IN OKLAHOMA
DEAR ANGRY: Your boyfriend may or may not be a video game addict. If his conversations online are "inappropriate," he may be playing more than one kind of "game." If he feels that those conversations are harmless, he is mistaken because what he is doing isn't healthy for you or the relationship.
My advice? Give him an ultimatum: Modify his behavior or else, and if he refuses, end the romance before he damages your self-esteem. Being ignored has been known to do that. Trust me.
DEAR ABBY: We are having a struggle in our family, and I'm unsure how to handle it. Three years ago, our adult nephew, "Connor," underwent hormone therapy, counseling and transgender surgery. She is now our niece "Cathy." The transformation was successful, and Cathy is happier than we've ever seen her. We loved Connor, and nothing has changed in our relationship with Cathy. She has visited us numerous times, and we have reciprocated.
The problem is Cathy's sister, "Amy." Amy has disowned Cathy. She says Connor "died to her" when he underwent the gender reassignment.
Not only is it heartbreaking for the whole family, but I'm finding it increasingly difficult to maintain a relationship with Amy because of her rigid attitude. She boycotts family reunions and celebrations if Cathy will be present, even though family members have traveled from across the country to attend.
Amy is now expecting a baby, and I'm not feeling very celebratory toward her. Please advise. -- VERY SAD AUNT IN WISCONSIN
DEAR AUNT: From what you have written, it appears that by distancing herself from Cathy, Amy is isolating herself from the family. I understand that you may not wish to attend her baby shower, but if you don't, it would be nice to send something for the child. Amy may come around one day, so keep the door open.
DEAR ABBY: I am a female and my male friend, "Sam," is recently engaged to be married. I talk to him daily and invite him out to dinner sometimes.
Sam's fiancee, "Felicia," has expressed to both of us that she's uncomfortable with our relationship. She asked us to set "boundaries," but I feel Sam is my friend and friends shouldn't have boundaries. When I asked him out to dinner against her wishes, she became irate. Do you think I'm disrespecting their relationship? What should I do? -- FOREVER FRIEND IN CHICAGO
DEAR FRIEND: It is a mistake not to recognize that Sam's status has changed. If you value your friendship with him, you must start respecting the fact that he's now engaged and do as his fiancee has requested -- set some boundaries. If you cannot do that, you can kiss your friendship with Sam goodbye.
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