Dear Abby: Friend likes to send irate, vitriolic letters, and I just got mine
Instead of trying to repair the friendship after a misunderstanding, she ends it with bitter language.
DEAR ABBY: I have a friend who feels a need to correct the behavior of others by writing letters. There are not too many businesses around town that haven’t received one of her letters and, no doubt, others in her circle of friends have, too.
After a misunderstanding for which I apologized, I received one of them. Because she lacks understanding or the ability to forgive, a vitriolic diatribe came my way. In her letter, she related past “unfortunate (in her opinion) ill behaviors” on my part for which I should be ashamed. Then she ended a friendship we had for many years without trying to mend the relationship. This is very hurtful for me, and I’m sure for others. How does one respond, if at all, to something like this? — SUFFERING IN MICHIGAN
DEAR SUFFERING: One does not respond. One copes by recognizing that the only person this unhappy woman is punishing is herself, as her circle of friends diminishes and businesses around town no longer welcome her.
DEAR ABBY: I am in a rock band with some friends. All of us are in our 50s and 60s. We have been playing together for the last three years. Last year, our bass player joined another band (while staying in ours) because another friend was in it, but they broke up because of COVID. Now that music venues are opening up again, he has joined yet another group.
I’m a loyal guy, and it bothers me that he doesn’t seem as loyal to our band. He says he can easily do both, but for me, it causes booking issues because the other band will be blocking out dates that we might be able to book. I see no other conflicts. He even asked if I was interested in joining the other band, too, because he figured that if he can’t be in two places at once, it might as well be both of us. Should we cut our losses and replace him? Loyalty is really important to us. — ROCKING ON IN TEXAS
DEAR ROCKING ON: Because you feel that loyalty is paramount and your friend may have scheduling conflicts because of his participation with the other band(s), yes, he should be replaced with a musician you can rely on.
DEAR ABBY: My wife recently asked me if she could take off her wedding ring in favor of wearing her mother’s, which is much larger than the one I gave her. I regard it as a lack of respect for our marriage, which has been under a lot of stress for a long time. (No affairs.) I also view it as symbolic of how much she has financially sacrificed being married to me. What do you think? — WONDERING IN THE EAST
DEAR WONDERING: You should tell your wife it would hurt you deeply if she follows through, and why. I also think the time has come for the two of you to talk about what is “stressing” your marriage with a licensed marriage and family therapist.
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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