Dear Abby: I have a good male friend whose company I have enjoyed very much. He’s outgoing and likes many of the same activities I do. Should I ever need anything, I know he would be there for me.
Unfortunately, this same person is very disrespectful to his wife. He’s severely critical of everything she does. I have seen him yell and make disparaging remarks to her, to the extent that I feel it borders on abusive. His wife is a warm, caring, selfless individual who deserves to be loved by someone who appreciates all that she is and does.
Because of the way he treats her, I no longer enjoy being around him. I’d like to remain friends with this couple, but I’m not sure how to. I am very sad about all of this. Please help me. – Anguished in Arizona
Dear Anguished: I don’t blame you for feeling sad about what you have witnessed. While you would like to continue the friendship, please recognize that unless some changes are made, it isn’t going to happen.
You would be doing your friend (and his wife) a favor to tell him how bad his verbal abuse makes him look and how harmful it is to his wife. And while you’re at it, suggest that if they are having problems – which they obviously are – they try to work them out with a licensed marriage and family therapist.
Dear Abby: I started sucking my thumb when I was 1. My parents tried for years to break my bad habit, but it wasn’t until I started going to slumber parties at 16 that I stopped.
I am now 27, and a few months ago I woke up with my thumb in my mouth. Since then I have caught myself sucking my thumb in the middle of the night. It seems to happen when I’m really tired.
I am now in a committed relationship and would die of embarrassment if my boyfriend saw me doing it. How can I stop once and for all? – Wet Thumb in the South
Dear W.T.: I have heard from other adults who suck their thumbs, so comfort yourself with the thought that it’s not all that unusual.
One way to fix the problem would be to not allow yourself to get overly tired. Another would be to coat your thumbs with a bitter or bad-tasting substance at bedtime.