DEAR ABBY: I have a guy friend who goes from girl to girl constantly. People talk about what a player he is and say he doesn’t really like the women he’s dating. He has been called desperate — among other things. None of this ever gets to him. Even though we are just close friends, he has even asked ME out.

I think he’s doing things all wrong, and I want to tell him so, but I know it’s his life, and he’s going to tell me that. I want people to stop talking behind his back. He annoys me so much when it comes to his dating life that I sometimes want to scream at his face. Do you have advice for me? — GOOD (GIRL) FRIEND IN CONNECTICUT

DEAR FRIEND: Yes, I do. You have a right to express your opinions to your friend. That said, try to be less judgmental. Remain his friend but focus less on his dating life so much because it is not your business. You are making a mistake if you allow it to become an obsession.

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend of 10 years and I recently broke up over some photos he has displayed on his mantel. At one time, he had an 8-by-10 photo of me, which suddenly disappeared. He swore he had no idea what happened to it. He now has four photos (two are 8-by-10) of a woman he calls his “co-worker.” She ushers with him at church on Sundays, and I know she has no interest in him.

I’m not a jealous person, but those photos have caused me hurt and embarrassment when others asked who the “babe” in the pictures is. He knew my feelings about them, but didn’t take them down. He has two smaller pictures of the two of us, but you can’t miss the two 8-by-10s when you enter the room.

Was I wrong in asking him to remove them? I still care for him, but my feelings don’t seem to matter to him. — PERPLEXED AND HURTING IN FLORIDA

DEAR PERPLEXED: You weren’t wrong to tell your ex how you felt about the photos. And you are right that your feelings on the subject weren’t important to him. It appears he became fixated on the church lady, which is why you were smart to break off the relationship.

DEAR ABBY: My daughter says that if I send a wedding gift of money to the bride and groom even though we weren’t invited, it would make the bride feel guilty for not including me/us.

My daughter and the bride have been friends and sports teammates for 25 years. We watched her grow up into a fine person. She had a small, backyard wedding, and we completely understood and agreed with her decision to not invite us. What is the proper etiquette on this topic? — DON’T KNOW IN THE MIDWEST

DEAR DON’T KNOW: The rule of etiquette is that if you accept a wedding invitation, you should give the couple a gift. However, if you do not attend and still would like to send something, it’s not only NOT a breach of etiquette, it is a generous and loving gesture. By all means send the check along with a sweet note expressing the sentiments you shared with me. I assure you, the bride will be touched by your thoughtfulness.

DEAR ABBY: My wife died recently. We were very happy. We had six beautiful children and were married for 58 wonderful years.

It has been a month since her funeral, and I have been able to cope somewhat with her loss. But suddenly, a couple of days ago, I experienced a tremendous wave of grief and thought I would go crazy with not being able to see her again. I began to be afraid I’d have to be hospitalized, perhaps in a psychiatric ward and medicated. But my son told me this condition (everything “hitting” you in a delayed reaction) has been documented in a majority of cases. Is this true? — GRIEVING TEXAN

DEAR GRIEVING TEXAN: Please accept my deepest sympathy for the loss of your wife. I am sure you feel her loss profoundly.

Not everyone grieves in the same way. Some feel numb and can’t understand why they can’t feel anything after a loved one dies. Others feel the loss immediately and can’t sleep, eat or stop crying.

Your son is absolutely right. What happened to you is not unusual. However, if feelings of being out of control persist, you should discuss them with your doctor.

DEAR ABBY: One of our in-laws recently confessed about a long-term affair. The details are widely known. The closest family members, and especially the couple’s adult children, are shocked, devastated and angry. No one wants to even talk to the cheater.

The aggrieved spouse wants to keep the marriage together. It is hard to imagine that time will heal these wounds. How can my wife and I support the aggrieved spouse and the devastated children? Should we try to re-establish ties with the cheater? If so, do we just talk about the weather, or do we acknowledge the elephant in the room? — TRYING TO DO WHAT’S RIGHT

DEAR TRYING: If you truly want to support the spouse and adult children, let them know you are there for them if they want to talk. If you socialize with the husband and wife as a couple, continue to behave as you always have with them and discuss the topics you always did. Couples can get past turbulence in their marriage more easily without unsolicited interference.

DEAR ABBY: I was paying bills and saw that my husband sent his mother flowers for Mother’s Day. It stung because I received nothing from him. ZIP. In the past, he has stated that I am not his mom, suggesting there’s no reason to celebrate the mother of HIS child who birthed HIS child on Mother’s Day 10 years ago. Should I be annoyed? — UNSURE IN OREGON

DEAR UNSURE: Most husbands have more brains than the cheap, insensitive man you married. I am tempted to suggest that you “forget” him on Father’s Day and when he asks why, tell him he’s not your father. You are a mother because he helped you become one, and he shouldn’t forget that fact.


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Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


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