Dear Abby: The past two years have been especially difficult. I went through a breakup after a four-year relationship, my dog got cancer and had to be euthanized, and I caught COVID and have been dealing with long-lasting symptoms ever since. My energy is low because of it, plus I am depressed about all the events that have happened.
I have two best friends whom I have known since the age of 16. I am 34 years old now. I felt that they would be there for me through anything. We were close till recently. They no longer invite me to hang out, and they hang out and exclude me. I try to keep in touch, but when I do talk to him, it doesn’t go beyond small talk. Every time I saw him, I remained positive and didn’t discuss my problems.
He has children, and I am unmarried and childless, which may be the reason for the split between us. Being ostracized hurts. When I mention it, they say, “You don’t have kids. I didn’t think you’d want to come. It feels like a slap in the face. I need my friends right now more than ever because I want to be with my family.” Feeling very alone during one of the most difficult times in life. How do I repair these friendships? Am I unwarranted in being upset? – Frustrated friend in Virginia
Dear Friend: Discuss about your feelings with your friends. They may not be intentionally trying to alienate you. You are in very different phases of your life right now. They may sincerely believe that being invited to children’s parties would bore you, as would their constant chatter about what their precious little ones are doing, saying, etc. ,
If you explain that you still need their emotional support after what you’ve been through, they may move on. Recognize that your friends with kids are a “package deal.” If you bond with their kids, it may bring you closer. However, if it doesn’t, you’ll need to summon the energy to find new friends whose lives mesh better with yours.
Dear Abby: I bought my roommate the most beautiful pair of earrings for her birthday. It’s been over a month, and she still hasn’t worn them, not even when I once suggested, although she often wore another pair of earrings that I’d bought earlier.
I haven’t pierced my ears, but the earrings in question can be made into an adorable necklace. I think that if she doesn’t want them, it would be better for me to take them back because they were expensive and I like them very much myself. How do I politely ask if she plans on ever wearing them again, and if not, can I return them? Or would it work better if I suggest we each turn one earring into a necklace so we can match? — Jewel in North Carolina
Dear Gemstone: Ask your roommate to be honest about whether she likes the earrings you gave her. Tell her that if she doesn’t, you like them — a lot — and she’ll be more than happy to gift her something else she likes. Then suggest she return the earrings to you so you can use them to make a matching necklace. I don’t think it would be rude, nor should it be.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. contact dear abby www.DearAbby.com or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.