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Dear Abby: Sobering up changes dynamics of closest relationships
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Dear Abby

Dear Abby: Sobering up changes dynamics of closest relationships

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DEAR ABBY: I know I have been blessed with wonderful relationships in my life. I have been married to the same lovely man for 25 years. I am also fortunate to have had the same best friend for 40 years. The problem? They drink.

Because of past behavior, I decided to get sober two years ago. I know I won't be able to drink socially again. I changed; they didn't.

We are all very high-functioning alcoholics. We never miss work and lead, for the most part, productive lives. I love them both so much. My husband is supportive and adoring. My best friend and I have gone through everything together. But Abby, I can't stand them after 8 p.m. after which they both repeat the same things over and over, and tell me how much they love me (in a slurry, sloppy way).

My life isn't bad, but this is making me miserable. I'm not asking that they quit drinking entirely, but for the sake of our relationship, I wish they'd just slow down some. Am I wrong to ask something of them that will change what was a big part of all of our lives for so long? I'm not willing to throw away long-term relationships, but I am truly at my wits' end. -- ODD ONE OUT IN WASHINGTON

DEAR ODD ONE OUT: Because you can't control the behavior of anyone else, you have two choices -- change the way you react to the person(s) or end the relationship(s). In this case, I vote for the former. Because your husband and your good friend are so drunk after 8 p.m. that they can no longer clearly pronounce their declarations of affection, plan some socially distanced visits with other sober individuals a few nights a week, including support group meetings for yourself, if you're not already attending them.

DEAR ABBY: I'm 16, and I feel as though my mother (a single parent) does not respect that I have differing political opinions. She is very liberal and is a registered Democrat. I am very conservative and, as of a few weeks ago, a registered Republican.

When I want to leave the house, if I'm wearing any of my conservative slogan apparel, she yells at me and tells me I'm not allowed to represent "us" like "that." I always do my best to be respectful of her beliefs and to have a civil conversation with her about politics, but she just ends up yelling at me and telling me I'm never going to get a girlfriend or find a job with my beliefs. At the same time, she's the most loving, supportive person I know when it comes to anything BUT politics. What can I do to get her to respect who I am and what I stand for? -- FREE-THINKING GUY IN D.C.

DEAR GUY: Be patient with her and remain respectful. Because you understand that your mother is the most loving and supportive person you know (except when it comes to politics), try to accept that she's being protective in the only way she knows how -- warning that in this current environment, expressing political beliefs can have lasting consequences. No matter what your political leanings are, as you mature I'm confident you will find a girlfriend and job that are compatible.

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DEAR ABBY: I am a 41-year-old woman who has been with my fiance for eight years. Before we decided to become a couple, I made clear to him that if he had no intention of moving south once my kids graduate, he should not get into a relationship with me. When we got together, I assumed he understood and would be moving with me. We have bought vehicles together and a house.

DEAR ABBY: I got married to a wonderful guy 14 years ago, but after a year of marriage, our children (his 10-year-old and my 12- and 13-year-olds) couldn't stand one another and caused a lot of problems. I was brokenhearted when he gave me divorce papers. I moved out but continued to date him without our kids around.

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DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 14 years to a man a lot of people in our town think has no flaws. He helps a lot of people, and he is also a pastor, but he ignores me and takes me for granted, personally, emotionally and sexually. He'd rather watch TV until he falls asleep on the couch.

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