Dear Amy: Once a week a friends gather at one of our houses for dessert and to watch a popular television show. I hosted and I had a glass of wine prior to people showing up.
I have an old house and TV, whereas everyone else is in a new house with the biggest and best of everything. A friends husband and I got onto the topic of old houses.
It was not a friendly conversation. Frankly, I was buzzed. I can have a short temper and I was seething during the conversation.
Then this friends wife made a disparaging remark about me being drunk. I blew it out of proportion.
I dont drink daily or even weekly, but I did come from a house of alcoholics.
Dear Guilty: These close friends are telling you that your drinking is a problem.
You must believe them and admit it to yourself. It doesnt matter how often or how much you drink; your relationships are suffering, so you need to stop.
Because you have alcoholism in your family, you should not drink at all. You could pursue recovery, get information and find support through Alcoholics Anonymous.
Go to aa.org to find a local meeting.
Dear Amy: Whats the harm in having a secret platonic friend of the opposite sex?
My friend came back into my life a year ago following a tragedy and we talk at least once a week. Talking with her produces a new level of comfort, understanding and self-esteem. However, I havent disclosed any of this communication to my wife. On the one hand I feel so guilty, but on the other hand I see little harm.
I cant bear the thought of ending this relationship, and Im afraid my wife will insist I terminate it if I confess. My friends partner is also unaware of my existence.
In my heart I know this has developed into an underground relationship, which cant continue in its present state. Though I havent lied to my wife, I feel I have woven a web of deceit. Is this wrong as long as its platonic?
Dear Husband: One aspect of your secret relationship is that you are sharing intimacies and emotions with your friend that you could (or should) be sharing with your life partner. Imagine how lonely she might feel, losing you in this way during a time when she might need you the most.
This relationship is wrong because it feels wrong. There is no difference between weaving a web of deceit and outright lying. A professional therapist could help you and your wife deal with the tragedy youve suffered, sort through your feelings and restore the intimacy you should share. Your secret friendship may have helped you heal during a tough time, but your special friend has no healthy role to play in your marriage.
Dear Amy: Furious Teen didnt know how to react to a teacher who demeaned and bullied her. I can still remember my seventh-grade homeroom teacher, who I now realize was a genuine bully. I wish I had gone to my parents about this because I think they might have done something about it.
Dear Furious: Ive heard from many readers with long-standing memories of teacher-bullies. I hope that current awareness is helping bullied kids to find their voice.