• 86°

Longtime friendship goes up in smoke

DEAR ABBY: I recently took a cross-country trip to visit my pregnant best friend before she gives birth. She has a new fiancé and soon-to-be stepdaughter I hadn’t met before. She is 12, and we enjoyed some outdoor activities together.
I have a marijuana vape pen I smoke occasionally to relieve nausea and anxiety. We both live in states where it is legal. While we were outside, I discreetly hit my vape pen. The stepdaughter noticed and later asked my friend if I was smoking weed. My best friend proceeded to get extremely mad at me for doing it in the presence of the girl, and she no longer wants to be my friend.
I have apologized profusely. I have little experience with kids, and now I’m scared that I have lost my best friend, who refuses to speak to me. Abby, was what I did a friendship-breaker? Was I so in the wrong, or is my friend being extreme and overreacting? — FORMER FRIEND IN OREGON

DEAR FRIEND: Your friend is not being extreme or overreacting. You vaped in front of the child she is going to be responsible for. Underage children should not use marijuana because it can negatively affect their still-developing brains. Your friend may have ended the friendship because she wants to teach the girl by example to avoid people who do this. What you did showed extremely poor judgment, and I don’t blame her.
—————
DEAR ABBY: I dated a man for a year and eight months. It seemed to be going great. The relationship took a turn around the eight-month mark. I realized through thorough observation (we lived together) that he was a textbook narcissist. He responded just like my research showed he would. He claims he has no mental issues, but I learned a lot from this relationship about narcissism and how to recognize abuse.
Narcissism is real, but most people don’t know much about the signs and difficult behavior. As a result of the relationship, I am now in therapy. My question is, how (when I’m ready) do I approach the dating scene again so I don’t encounter an experience like this? — BURNED IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR BURNED: Continue working with your therapist. By the time you are finished, you will know what to look out for. You may also realize that there aren’t narcissists lurking behind every bush. We form healthy relationships by getting to know people before jumping into a live-in relationship. Abusers of both sexes try to gain an advantage over their victims by chipping away at their self-esteem and making them doubt themselves. Keep your eyes open and listen to your intuition, and you won’t subject yourself to this kind of relationship again.
—————
DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been married for 35 years. She’s the best. However, for the last few years I feel like she fits our relationship in between her texting and emails, and not the other way around. Should I feel hurt or just roll with the times? — NEGLECTED IN FLORIDA

DEAR NEGLECTED: Neither one. What you should do is tell your wife of 35 years that she is making you feel like No. 3 on her list of priorities. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
—————
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.
—————
To order “How to Write Letters for All Occasions,” send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby — Letter Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)