DEAR ABBY: After a long relationship, "Eric" and I plan on getting married very soon. My problem is, Eric is secretive. He keeps his phone right next to him, and before he walks into the house, he sits in his car, clearing his history. I know he looks at porn, and I'm not happy about it, but it's the other things I'm angry and confused about.
I know he's been sending pictures of himself to women, and they send pictures to him. Isn't that cheating? When I have confronted him, he gets angry and withdraws. Abby, I love my man, but I feel he's cheating. — DESPERATE FOR ANSWERS
DEAR DESPERATE: I have sad news for you. Eric isn't "your" man. From your description, you are sharing him. You already know he has a problem with the truth. When you tried to do something about it, he became emotionally abusive. This is what your future will be if you marry him. Cancel the wedding!
DEAR ABBY: How do you know if a friend is actually a "frenemy"? I think my friend "Gwen" may be one.
I successfully started a second career and was doing well, but Gwen had no interest in hearing about it. She also announced her engagement on my wedding day, which diverted attention away from me on my special day.
I went through a difficult time because several family members passed away, and Gwen was neither supportive nor particularly sympathetic. Her lack of response made things even harder for me. I no longer feel like I can share my successes about saving money or getting raises, because this "friend" would be threatened by it. I almost felt Gwen was happy when I was struggling, because it made her better than I was.
Is it OK to let people go? Is this a real friend? — FRIEND OR FOE IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR F. OR F.: Gwen appears to have neither good judgment nor empathy. If those are qualities you value in a friend, my advice is to look elsewhere. Friends celebrate their friends' successes and reach out to offer comfort when they suffer losses. It is not only OK to let people like Gwen drift away, but it is also healthy.
DEAR ABBY: My neighbor has a 17-year-old daughter. Fifteen weekdays a month she and a boy from school come home for 30 to 50 minutes during the noon hour. (Five days a month she comes home by herself.) Her mom and dad are both at work. Do you think her parents should know about the "nooners" at their house? — NOSY NEIGHBOR IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR NEIGHBOR: Yes, I do think you should casually ask if they are aware of it. However, when you do, make sure not to sound accusatory or judgmental — just "curious."
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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