DEAR ABBY: Maybe I don't understand because I'm not a parent myself, but all my friends can talk about is children. Whereas before, we were interested in each other's lives, I feel like my concerns are being brushed off.
I enjoy hearing about my friends and their families, but I feel they are no longer interested in me. Am I expecting too much because we're at different points in our lives, or am I a bad friend? I'm growing resentful, and I don't like it. Any words of wisdom?
- Still Relevant in Massachusetts
DEAR STILL RELEVANT: When you were younger, you and your friends would talk about dating, then about college, jobs and marriage. As people experience the later stages of life, they talk about other things that are going on in their lives - children, grandkids, aging parents and, finally, their own health concerns.
You'll maintain and enjoy these friendships longer if you understand that. Try to set some "adult time only" with your friends.
DEAR ABBY: After 25 years, I have finally admitted to myself that I'm married to a workaholic, alcoholic womanizer. I feel used, abused and disrespected.
I have raised three great, successful grown kids. I have yet to make a decision for myself. I married for life. Must I continue to suffer in silence? Or do I hope that there is love, kindness and respect out there to be had?
- Stalling in Iowa
DEAR STALLING: You are entitled to receive the same love and respect that you offer to others. I cannot guarantee that you'll find love. Because your workaholic, alcoholic, womanizing husband hasn't changed in a quarter of a century, it's obvious he has no intention of doing so.
You don't need to find another man in order to be happier than you are now. Being alone could give you peace, contentment and happiness. The question you need to answer honestly for yourself is whether you would be happier without your husband's negative influence in your life.