DEAR ABBY: My mom lives with me and my hubby. Recently I found out that she walks around at night because she hears noises or is restless -- and puts her ear on our bedroom door, too!
I was shocked. I think this is a complete invasion of my privacy, and I was embarrassed to no end. I now avoid getting intimate with my hubby, and he has no idea why.
I have to be sensitive about what I say to Mom because she underwent surgery recently and she has lot of medical issues. How should I handle this? -- NO NOISE FOR MS. NOSY
DEAR NO NOISE: The first thing you should do is tell your husband why you have been avoiding intimacy. If you don't, he may think it has something to do with him or the way you feel about him, and that's neither true nor fair.
Your mother's wandering around at night may be nosiness, or it could be insomnia or other medical issues. Her inability to sleep should be mentioned to her doctor so the cause can be determined. If you're correct that it's nosiness, then it should be handled firmly -- by you and your husband -- and some other living arrangement for her should be made.
DEAR ABBY: I have read your column since I was a little girl. Now, at 35, I need your advice.
For years, a friend of mine was in love with me. I didn't want to ruin the friendship by getting into a relationship, so I'd brush off his advances.
After six years, I realized he was a good man who would do anything for me, so I decided to go on a date. The date led to marriage, but now, five years later, we are divorced because I realized we were better off as friends rather than spouses.
He was OK with the divorce and moving out because he knew I would be happier, and he wanted me to be happy. Now that he's gone, I am sad that I have lost my friend. I miss the friendship we once had, and I'm heartbroken. It feels like I have suffered a death. Can you please help me? I'm not sure what to do. -- LOST OUT WEST
DEAR LOST: In a sense, you HAVE suffered a death -- the death of your marriage. Give yourself time to grieve.
If you thought that after divorcing your husband you could go back to being friends as though the marriage never happened, you were unrealistic. From his perspective, he has been rejected on a very basic level. In order to get past it, he may need time and distance from you. That's understandable.
In the meantime, stay busy with friends and projects because that will give you less time to brood. If you're not exercising, start now. Regular exercise can help to lessen depression. However, if your sadness persists, discuss it with a licensed psychotherapist so it doesn't become chronic.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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