DEAR ABBY: I was co-host of a celebration where one of our guests, a seemingly very nice young man who is dating a relative, was observed “goosing” half a dozen women while on the dance floor. I don’t know if my relative is aware, nor do I know how the recipients felt about it, but I wonder if what he did could be considered sexual assault.
Should I talk to my relative about it? Would it be proactive and protective, or hurtful and intrusive? I had a partner who once suffered from, and is now in recovery from, sexual addiction. I believe in advocating for awareness, recovery, healing, amends, open dialogue and respect for everyone. I don’t know what, if any, next steps are appropriate, other than to mind my own business. Can I please have some input? — WITNESS IN WASHINGTON
DEAR WITNESS: If what your relative’s date did was observed by other guests, he must have been the talk of the party. I do think what happened bears discussion with your relative. However, rather than frame it in terms of a sex addiction, it might be more accurate to suggest that he may not know how to handle alcohol.
DEAR ABBY: I’ve been married to my husband for 38 years. He has three grown children from a first marriage, who were young teens when we married. My husband recently lost a grandson. When I read the obituary, I was shocked. Listed as “Mamaw and Papaw” were “Sara and Steve Smith.” Sara was my husband’s first wife. There was no mention of me anywhere, not even my name in parentheses next to Steve’s.
They mentioned plenty of other people, including spouses, but there was no mention of me or Steve’s and my daughter. I really didn’t expect to be named, but couldn’t they have at least separated the names? It looks like my husband is still married to his ex-wife! I just feel so hurt and angry. Am I being petty? — SAD IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR SAD: I understand your feelings. But please take into consideration that when there’s a death in the family — particularly the death of a child — grieving relatives are not always thinking clearly. There might also have been a miscommunication between whoever submitted the obituary and the newspaper employee who published it. Unless there is something you omitted from your letter, the slight may not have been deliberate.
DEAR ABBY: A former friend cheated me on a business deal. Our mutual friends know about it, yet they still associate with him even though I will not attend any social functions with him there. Is it time to move on from this entire group of friends? — DUPED IN MICHIGAN
DEAR DUPED: One would think that knowing someone was dishonest in their business dealings would be enough reason to step back before they, too, could become victims. Birds of a feather have been known to flock together, so yes, it’s time to cultivate some new friends.
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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