Dear Abby: I want to ask my married friends if we can be a “group”; they have no idea.


Dear ABBY: I am a woman in my 50s who has been through two divorces. This might make me sound like a bad person, but I’m very nice and quite conservative. I only make bad choices when it comes to men.

A few years ago I met a woman with whom I have become good friends. She is happily married. She and her husband are empty nesters, like me. We socialize often, and when we do there is a definite chemistry between us.

I’ve recently heard about the concept of a ‘group’, which is consenting adults living together like any couple would, except there are three of them instead of two. I can’t help but wonder if my friend, her husband and I would make a good match. This is not a case of rushing into something. We have known each other for several years and have established trust and compatibility.

I’m nervous about talking about this because I don’t want to jeopardize our friendship. I’m also afraid of how deeply I feel for these two people, and I think it’s mutual. I don’t like being single, and the thought of dating again gives me hives. What should I do? — HE FOUND THE RIGHT ONES IN THE WEST

Dear found: Carefully consider what will give you the worst hives. After two divorces, you’re now in a position to make wiser decisions about men in the future, as long as you’re willing to risk dipping into the dating pool.

It’s quite possible that as much as you like this partner, they’re not excited about the idea of ​​a partner. Proposing what you have in mind can make your relationship with one of them (or both). Unless you can find a way to casually gauge their reaction to hypothetically “grouping” in the course of a conversation, let me share a bit of wisdom that has served me well: When in doubt, don’t you do it!

Dear ABBY: Our daughter’s husband has not bonded with her young son. He won’t pick it up or play with it, and barely acknowledges its existence. When, through therapy, our daughter learned to deal with the problem, she admitted that she just doesn’t feel anything for the boy.

In fact, he is not much more attentive to his 3-year-old son. He would rather play video games than interact with his kids or wife. As far as we know, he is not physically abusive towards the children or our daughter, but he is definitely verbally abusive.

Having been a victim of abuse, I am well aware that verbal abuse is just as damaging as physical abuse, and in fact, is sometimes a precursor to physical abuse. As grandparents, is there anything we can do, or do we have to watch these beautiful girls starve for their father’s affection? — CONSCIOUS IN TEXAS

Dear Conscious: While you can’t force your son-in-law to be a better father or husband, you can encourage your daughter to continue her therapy so that she can become more assertive, not only for the sake of her children, but also for herself. It may give you the strength to end the marriage. In the meantime, continue to love your grandchildren and give them the positive reinforcement and all the attention they deserve so they learn what healthy relationships feel like.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, aka Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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