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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman Doesn't Think Her Friend Will Be Able to Support Herself

DEAR ABBY: I've been best friends with "Mary" since we were 13. We're 23 now. We tell each other everything and are as close as sisters. We went to high school together, but I graduated and Mary dropped out in senior year with the intention of finishing up later. She never did. She does want a GED, but her lack of a degree hasn't been a big issue because she got married and had a kid, and her husband works.

Lately, Mary has confided (and I've seen) that their marriage is troubled. There's a real possibility that she will soon be on her own with a kid, no job experience, no high school diploma and nowhere to go. Aside from raising her kid (who she adores and is her whole life), she has no hobbies or projects, nothing to look forward to or to pour her energy into. It's literally just "wake up, watch the kid, clean, cook, sleep." I think it's taking a toll on her and she's depressed. I want to help Mary, but I don't know how. I don't want to get into her personal business, but I also don't want to see her thrown into a terrible situation. Any advice? -- CLOSE AS SISTERS

DEAR CLOSE AS SISTERS: It's time to have a frank talk with your friend about the trouble in her marriage and that you are concerned she may be depressed. While you're at it, tell her how important it is that she get that GED. If she does, she may gain the confidence to improve other aspects of her life. Then keep your fingers crossed that Mary will listen and heed your advice.