DEAR ABBY: My friend “Lauren” and her husband separated for a few months last summer. During the separation, she had a short fling with my friend “Zack,” whom she met at my house. Lauren decided to continue her marriage and, obviously, chose to stop seeing Zack.
A few months ago, Zack came to a party I threw. Lauren wasn’t able to make it. Everyone had a few margaritas, and as the night ended, I found myself having sex with Zack for the first time since our friendship began 10 or so years ago. It was so great, and we decided to do it again. I wasn’t sure I should tell Lauren, even though she’s a married woman, because I was afraid it might upset her.
A week ago, Zack confessed that he may be in love with me, and I feel the same way toward him. I decided to go ahead and tell Lauren, since my relationship with Zack is getting serious. She reacted terribly. She was furious and accused me of “betraying” her and trying to “one-up” her. She said I should have known how she felt about him and that I’m a terrible friend for having sex with him, let alone falling in love.
Abby, are her feelings justified? Am I in the wrong? Or are we all still adults? — ACCIDENTALLY IN LOVE
DEAR ACCIDENTALLY IN LOVE: Lauren’s feelings justified? Heck, no! If you and Lauren are still speaking, “remind” her that when she went back to her husband, she relinquished all claims on the man she slept with in the interim. He’s entitled to a life and so are you. If I were you, I’d distance myself from this woman. She shouldn’t begrudge you for enjoying someone she can’t enjoy herself. Shame on her.
DEAR ABBY: I’m a student at an art school, and I’m struggling with anxiety and depression. I have been on lockdown in my hometown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, isolated from my friends and unable to socialize with others. Sometimes when I watch the news I become very anxious, and I wonder if there’s a light at the end of these dark times. What should I do? — ANXIETY-RIDDEN IN ATLANTA
DEAR ANXIETY-RIDDEN: Welcome to the club! If you think you have been alone in experiencing these emotions, you couldn’t be more wrong. Many people feel just the way you do — anxious, isolated and depressed.
You can manage negative emotions by getting out of the house and exercising — alone or with friends or neighbors — while staying a social distance apart, and keeping in touch with friends and classmates using your computer and cellphone. There’s no reason you couldn’t collaborate with some of them on an art project and create something spectacular using those devices.
Remind yourself that this quarantine is temporary. It isn’t going to last forever. Unless you have an underlying health condition or someone in your household does, you can mingle with others wearing a face covering and keeping your distance. From what I have been observing, some relationships have been strengthened as people reach out to comfort and help each other. A surefire way to overcome the blues is to start thinking about what you can do for someone else, even if it’s just a phone call to say, “I’m thinking about you. How are you doing?”
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.
Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)