DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been married for a year. Recently, I have been questioning my sexuality and have realized that I am gay. I have been trying to think of different ways of telling her, but I don't want to hurt her. Please help. -- COMING OUT IN OHIO
DEAR COMING OUT: You are right: You must tell your wife, and the sooner, the better. She may -- or may not -- be shocked and possibly angry. During the talk, make clear that this has nothing to do with her, her attractiveness or femininity. Afterward, suggest she contact the Straight Spouse Network for support if she feels the need. It's an organization founded many years ago by Amity Pierce Buxton, Ph.D., to support heterosexual spouses of LGBTQ mates. Your wife can find it online at straightspouse.org, and I highly recommend it.Read more in: Marriage & Divorce | Sex & Gender
DEAR ABBY: My son has been married three times. After each divorce, he has expected me to distance myself from the ex's children. I have been Grandma to them, and this is driving us apart. My son says it's them or him! I'm heartbroken and want to maintain a relationship with both. Help! -- FOREVER GRANDMA
DEAR GRANDMA: That your son would deny his stepchildren contact with a loving grandmother because he's angry with their mother is terrible. You may wish to maintain a relationship with them, but because of your son's current mindset, it may not be possible.
Since you asked me to weigh in, my advice is to stop sitting on the fence. Maintain a relationship with them regardless of their "step" status. They need you. They need the validation that they are loved, which you can provide. As to your inflexible son, I can see why he has such terrible luck with women. It appears he still has a lot of growing up to do.Read more in: Family & Parenting | Marriage & Divorce
DEAR ABBY: I am an introvert, which may be hard to believe since I am the sixth child in a family of 10. I enjoy talking with my siblings. My problem is how to handle people who call and think I should be happy to chat about nothing of interest to me. During the pandemic this has become a major problem. -- NOT INTERESTED IN VIRGINIA
DEAR NOT INTERESTED: Your problem isn't unique. During this period of social isolation, social contact can be crucial in combatting depression. I'm hearing from people who say, "Every day is exactly the same as the last one. I have nothing to say to my spouse, my children, my friends, etc. I'm bored stiff, and I have become a boring person."
It is important that you allot some time to those who are reaching out, but it doesn't mean you must be a prisoner to long conversations. Tell the caller you're glad they are adjusting and maintaining their sanity. If you see something noteworthy on television, in your online research or a book you are reading, share it. But no law says you must remain on these phone calls for long periods or participate in them every day. Consider rationing them instead.Read more in: Friends & Neighbors | Etiquette & Ethics | Mental Health
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