Happy love life turns best friend into a debbie downer

Published 1:27 pm Thursday, September 3, 2020

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DEAR ABBY: I have been lucky enough to have fallen madly in love with the most wonderful man in the world. We have been together for two years and living together for almost a year. I’m in my mid-30s; he’s in his mid-40s. We both have had plenty of experience in love — enough to feel sure that we’ve found the person we want to spend the rest of our lives with.
My best friend has been very disparaging of our relationship and makes rude comments about it. If I tell her how happy we are in spite of the pandemic, she says it’s because we’re still in the “honeymoon phase.” If I describe something kind that my boyfriend has done for me, she adopts a condescending tone and makes remarks about “new love” and that I should enjoy this now because it will change.
She’s the same age I am and has been with her fiancé for nine years. I have always been very supportive of their relationship, but she seems incapable of offering me the same level of support in my love life. When I try to talk to her about something she has said or done that bothers me, she often becomes aggressive, and I don’t know how to approach this subject without getting into an argument or losing our friendship. What should I do? — PROUDLY LUCKY IN LOVE
DEAR PROUDLY LUCKY: Could your friend be suffering from a touch of jealousy because you constantly extoll your boyfriend’s virtues? Her cynicism may have something to do with the fact that she and her fiancé have been together for nine years with no marriage in sight.
If you can’t talk to her about sensitive issues without her becoming aggressive or you being afraid of losing the friendship, it doesn’t take a crystal ball to see the two of you are growing increasingly distant with the passage of time. I do think you should ask your friend why she reacts the way she does and tell her how it makes you feel. It may be the only way to save your friendship.
DEAR ABBY: At what age is it no longer appropriate for children to play naked while outside in their yard?
We are a childless couple in our 60s who live in a suburban neighborhood in the Northeast. A new couple moved here with their children, a boy and a girl, who appear to be about 5 and 8 years old. Both of them often are naked while playing in their yard. This happens in all kinds of weather, not just when it’s extremely hot.
We all have fairly large yards, but none of the yards in the neighborhood are private. Neighbors on both sides of this family and anyone walking up or down the street can see the children. We are not prudes, but this happens frequently, and it makes us uncomfortable. Is it time for us to move? — AVERTING MY EYES
DEAR AVERTING: Five- and 8-year-old minors are too old to be naked in public. Pay a visit to your new neighbors’ house and introduce yourself. Ask why the kids play outside with no clothes on. Gauge what you learn, and if you suspect neglect or abuse, report it to Child Protective Services.
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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