DEAR NOT TO SWING: If your vision of marriage is a union between two people only, then the man you married is not someone with whom you should spend a lifetime. Do not allow yourself to be coerced into anything you are not comfortable with, and that includes threesomes. Much as you might wish it, you are not going to change your husband, which is why it may be time for you to revisit this subject with him and the help of a licensed marriage and family therapist.
DEAR ABBY: I dated a longtime friend, “Austin,” for about four months. He had a history of drug use, but had been sober for about four years before he stopped attending meetings. I have two children from my previous marriage. He knew when we started dating that if he relapsed, the relationship was over. He did, so I ended it then and there. Austin begged me for a second chance and for my help. I have known his family for as long as I’ve known him, which is 20 years. He swore up and down to me that he wouldn’t relapse again, but he did and died from an overdose. Austin’s family blames me for his death because I didn’t answer his calls or messages. How can I explain to them there was nothing I could do? — FAULT ISN’T MINE
DEAR FAULT: You were under no ethical or moral obligation to answer Austin’s texts or messages after his relapses. Save yourself the frustration of trying to point out the truth to his family. Austin’s relatives are in pain right now, and in denial as well. They are blaming you rather than their son because the truth — that Austin was responsible for his own actions and his own death — may be too hard for them to face.
DEAR ABBY: I am a retired lady who often eats alone in restaurants. When I arrive, the host or hostess usually greets me and asks, “How many?” When I reply, “One,” the invariable response is, “Just ONE?” I find the question demeaning and rude. I have responded with things like “Isn’t one enough?” or, “If you prefer groups, I can go elsewhere.” I have even mentioned to managers that it would be more appropriate if they trained their hosts not to say “just.” Can you offer a better response I can give? — PARTY OF ONE
DEAR PARTY OF ONE: I think you are handling the situation as well as it can be handled. Sometimes people don’t stop to consider the implications of what they are saying. It’s impolite for a host to ask, “Just one?” because in some cases the reply could be depressing and cloud the dining experience.
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.