Dear Abby: My son, a high school senior, was in a relationship with a young woman who broke up with him and began dating his best friend. He was heartbroken. She played him into being friends and tells him he’s her best friend, but her actions prove otherwise.
His father and I comforted him as best we could, but he still has feelings for her. It was a tough breakup for him, and he says he can’t understand why he feels this way for her. We as parents are having a hard time keeping our opinions to ourselves. We are not happy with him still being around her and try to discourage it as much as possible.
We all attend the same church, from which I’ve offered to remove myself, but my son says no. We limit the time he gets to be around her, but she has begun flaunting other dates in front of him, which is making it hard for us to be cordial toward her.
How can I help my boy heal his heart and move on? He’s my youngest, the last one ready to venture out to college, and I want him to have a fresh start for the new journey. – Heavy-Hearted Mom
Dear Mom: Some lessons in life people must learn for themselves, and this is one of them. As much as you wish to help your son heal his heart, he’s going to have to arrive at the realization that there’s more pain than pleasure associated with the girl who rejected him. That is when he will move on, not before.
College will provide him an opportunity to meet new people and cultivate new interests. Being in a new environment will also help. In the meantime, be patient, refrain from saying anything nasty (as tempting as it might be) about his former girlfriend and keep your son as busy as you can.
Dear Abby: I have been married to the same woman for 34 years. We have raised two great kids. The problem is, my wife does not show, respond to or initiate any affection or intimacy. I understand she has been through menopause, but is this the new normal? For me it is a lonely, cold existence. Most nights she won’t even share the same bed with me. She also does not respond well to talking about things. Must I live the rest of my life this way? – Roommate in Virginia
Dear Roommate: Your problem is less about the lack of affection and intimacy in your marriage and far more about the lack of communication your wife allows you to have with her. If a problem can’t be discussed, there is no way to arrive at a solution or a compromise.
If you haven’t told her how lonely and isolated you feel, start there. What’s happening is not fair to you. This is something that should be discussed with her doctor because there may be a medical solution if sex is painful for her.
However, if it is more complicated than that, recognize that you need more help than I can give you in a letter or a newspaper column, and ask your doctor or insurance company to refer you to a licensed marriage and family therapist for the answers you are seeking. If your wife refuses to go with you, go without her.