Abby: Woman who doesn't drink is weary of friends who do

June 30, 2014 

DEAR ABBY: My girlfriends are always trying to get me drunk. I don't need alcohol to have a good time, and in fact, I rarely drink.

Although they never drink and drive, they drink a lot and are embarrassing when they sing loud, stumble on the dance floor and slur their words.

My boyfriend says they're not true friends if they want me to drink to excess. I am mature enough not to succumb to this peer pressure. Is my boyfriend right? Do I need new friends? -- Teetotaler In Pennsylvania

DEAR TEETOTALER: Your boyfriend may be right that you need some new friends, if yours can have a good time only if they use alcohol.

If I'm reading your letter correctly, it appears you may be their designated driver. My advice is to take yourself out of that equation, and if possible, socialize with them in situations that do not involve drinking. If that's not possible, then for your own sake, start cultivating friends with wider interests.

DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been married for 20 years. Before our two children started high school two years ago, we had a great marriage. Unfortunately, my wife has put our children's high school education above everything else. She's a classic "helicopter mom" who says that once the kids leave for college, our relationship will become great again.

As the months go by, I find myself being more of a father and a tutor than a husband and "intimate friend" to my wife. We have little in common with each other, little intimacy, and everything revolves around our children -- not us.

I have talked to her about this, and we have seen a counselor and a priest who told my wife that what she's doing is wrong. But things are getting worse, not better.

Any suggestions on how to get the message across before we get totally separated or even divorced? -- No Helicopter Dad

DEAR DAD: Your letter touches upon a conversation I have had several times over the last few years, and it involves whether helicopter parents are giving their children an advantage, or preventing them from developing social skills and independence. If your kids are having problems in school and need extra parental guidance, then I'm all for it. But if they aren't -- and their teachers should be able to tell you that -- then your wife isn't doing this because of their need but her own.

Because you say you're not sure your marriage will be intact by the time they graduate, I'm urging that you both have more marriage counseling NOW.

Dear Abby, written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. © 2014 UNIVERSAL UCLICK.

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