Dear Abby: When I need him most, best friend loses interest in me

He never calls or writes or asks about his old pal, who has been depressed since losing his parents.

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DEAR ABBY: I have a person in my life who I considered to be my best friend. Before he moved out of state, we agreed we would contact each other every two weeks to stay in touch and, for a short while, we did. However, I began to realize as time passed that I was the only one making calls, and sending texts or emails.

My wife and I planned a special vacation to visit this friend. While there, my wife shared with him that after losing both my parents within a very short time, I’m not the same. She told him I had been struggling with depression and my personality had been affected. He promised he would call more often to check on me, but he never did.

In the few times that I’ve spoken with him since our vacation — again, with me doing the calling — he has never asked me how I’m doing. My wife calls him a fair-weather friend and says he is self-centered, and I should just put him out of my life. I loved my friend more than a brother. What do you think I should do? — FRIEND FOR LIFE IN TEXAS

DEAR FRIEND: Please accept my sympathy for the losses you have experienced. Your wife may have a point in her estimation of this friend. He certainly hasn’t proven himself to be emotionally supportive or willing to do any of the heavy lifting in your relationship since he moved away.

Think carefully: Could he have always been this way, and the distance has just made it obvious? If that’s the case, continue to accept him for who he is and appreciate what little he is capable of giving when you talk, text, email, etc. However, if his emotional distancing is new behavior, then for your own sake, develop a better support system to help you through this difficult period.

DEAR ABBY: I frequently get together to play cards with a small group of women from my gated community. The newest member, however, never stops talking and becomes surly if she doesn’t win. We all find her annoying and try to avoid playing at her table. When we gently told her the nonstop chatter and constant complaints are distracting, she told us she has no intention of changing. “Take me as I am, or don’t associate with me,” she has said.

Abby, since we don’t want to give up the games or play behind her back, we have to associate with her. In a social setting, she is more bearable and, at heart, is a good and generous person. Advice? — ANNOYED IN FLORIDA

DEAR ANNOYED: This good and generous motor-mouthing poor sport has given you your marching orders. Do nothing behind her back. Tell her once more — directly — that her constant talking during the games is distracting, and that if she persists, she will no longer be welcome to join you for cards. And yes, it may end your social relationship.

TO MY READERS: For those of you who celebrate Easter, I wish you all a very meaningful and memorable day. Happy Easter, everyone. — LOVE, ABBY

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 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.)

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