DEAR ABBY: I'm worried about a close friend I have known for about 10 years. She's well-educated, independent, and family-oriented. She has been online dating for quite a while and continually meets guys who have criminal backgrounds.
She dated one of them on the down-low for two years because she was embarrassed by how he behaved in public. The most recent man served a 16-year prison sentence for being involved in a murder.
She tells me she doesn't see a future with any of them, but goes on multiple dates and defends them with, "He seems like a nice guy." In the next breath, she'll claim to want a steady and meaningful relationship.
I have voiced my concerns. I asked her what she'd say to me if the tables were turned, and her responses mimic the concern I show her. I suggested she try a different website or mode of meeting potential partners, but it hasn't made a difference.
I believe in second chances up to a point, but now I'm genuinely worried for her safety. Is there anything else I can do to persuade her to have safer boundaries?
- Concerned About Criminals
DEAR CONCERNED: No, you have done enough. Until your friend admits to herself that she's fishing for trout in the wrong stream, she'll continue to reel in sharks.
He's not just sulking, but downright abusive
DEAR ABBY: Is it normal for men to sulk or get angry when they don't get sex when they want it? I've been married to my husband for more than 30 years. I run several miles a day, and with all the work I do, I don't always feel like having sex. Lately, I have been under a lot of stress, so I haven't been in the mood.
The other night, he did his usual sulking. Then, as he often does, he tossed about in bed, repeatedly and roughly, while we're trying to sleep. The whole bed shook. Another night, he stuck his elbow in my ribs to be sure he got my attention.
Sometimes, he'll grab my butt really hard while I'm trying to sleep - in the middle of the night, mind you. I end up having sex with him so he leaves me alone and I can sleep.
I have tried sleeping in another bed. But then he comes to that room and repeatedly kicks the mattress. If I lock the door, he kicks the door. So, I have sex with him so I can live in peace. Do most men do this when they don't get sex as often as they like?
- Spouse Sulking in the North
DEAR SPOUSE: You have tolerated this for 30 years? What you have described is spousal abuse. Most men do not behave the way your husband does, bullying and coercing their wives into marital relations. Please discuss this with a licensed mental health professional. His behavior is off the charts, and you need more help than I can give you in a letter.
Upgrading plane seats on a trip with friends
DEAR ABBY: I have a question. If you are traveling with a group of friends on a plane, is it rude for one couple to upgrade to first class? This was a group trip traveling to go on a cruise together.
- Just Wondering in Florida
DEAR JUST WONDERING: I wouldn't call it a breach of etiquette. However, it's less than an expression of solidarity with the friends who are sitting in the back. Personally, I think it sends a wrong message and could cause resentment unless there's a practical reason the couple need the extra space - long legs, a bad back, a weight problem, etc.