DEAR ABBY: I will soon be retiring from a lay position in my church. As a former member of the choir, I’m being urged to return to it, which appeals to me. My problem is a member who has caused trouble in the past for me with lies and criticism.
She is a very negative bully. In the past, she poisoned my ability to worship, and I want as little to do with her as possible. I’m afraid if I rejoin the choir, the situation will continue. I don’t want to upset the other choir members who are good, supportive friends, but I no longer want to have to put up with her. She’s very hard to ignore. Any suggestions? — SINGING A NEW TUNE IN CANADA
DEAR SINGING: If you haven’t already done so, discuss this with the priest/pastor of your church. Explain how the woman’s bullying and rumor spreading have affected you and ask for guidance. If she’s the one sour note in the choir, it is possible she has done the same thing to others.
DEAR ABBY: My son moved in with a 22-year-old woman in 2009. She gave birth to a baby boy in 2010. My son, who is older, took on the responsibility of raising the boy. In 2018, she walked out on them both and wasn’t heard from again. Through public records we found out that she had committed suicide.
My grandson is now 9. My question is, is he old enough to be told about his mother, or should my son wait until he’s older, like in his teens? I’m just wondering what’s the right thing to do. — RIGHT TIME IN FLORIDA
DEAR RIGHT TIME: When your grandson asks about his mother, he should be told that she is no longer living. As he begins asking for more information, his questions should be answered in an age-appropriate way. He does not need to hear that she committed suicide until he is old enough to understand what she was suffering from and how sad you and your son are that her life ended the way it did.
DEAR ABBY: Despite gastric bypass years ago, my wife is still very heavy. I’m no longer attracted to her, yet she is my best friend. I have thought about leaving her. Our kids are grown, so I wouldn’t have to pay child support. In a few years, I will be too old to pay alimony. However, even then, because where we live is so expensive, I would likely have to move out of state. I don’t want to move out of state or lose my best friend. — UNSURE IN THE WEST
DEAR UNSURE: Before making any decisions based on the assumption that you won’t have to see that your wife is provided for financially, discuss this with an attorney. Because you don’t want to move away or lose your best friend, you may have to accept that, despite her weight-loss surgery, your wife has serious issues with food and, BECAUSE she is your best friend, love her in spite of it. Help her as much as you can with healthy eating and an exercise routine you can do together.