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Family Ties Break Down After Mom Moves Away

DEAR ABBY: Since I moved eight years ago, my son, “Jim,” has visited me only once, and that’s because I gave his son my car. I rarely hear from him, and when I have visited, we barely talk. We have totally different ideas on life, and it has caused a rift in our relationship.

When I have visited Jim and his wife, they just sit, watch movies and eat takeout food unless I take them out and pay for the meal. Over the years, I have given my son money and housed him when he went through a terrible divorce. His children are grown now, and I don’t hear from them either.

He remarried a woman he met on the internet who has different ideas on things than my family and the way I was brought up. It hurts me very much. What’s your opinion on what to do about this situation? I’m at a loss. — LET DOWN IN IDAHO

DEAR LET DOWN: It’s sad, but the breakdown in your relationship with Jim started a long time ago. It should have been addressed then.

It’s not uncommon for adults to have ideas that differ from their parents’, but it shouldn’t cause a rift. If your son and his wife are hiding behind their television set rather than conversing, the situation may be as uncomfortable for them as it is for you.

If the dynamics in your relationship are going to improve, you will have to convince them to discuss where things went off track, agree to disagree on certain topics and talk about other things when you see them. From what you have written, it appears you are doing all the work in the relationship, and that isn’t fair to you.

DEAR ABBY: I’m a gay male who has fallen in love with my best friend, who is straight. After months of feeling dishonest in our friendship, I told him how I felt. At first he seemed OK with it. He told me he couldn’t reciprocate those feelings, but he still loved me as his friend and asked me not to make it “weird.”

A month later, he said if I can’t find a way to fall out of love with him, we could no longer be friends. I didn’t change anything about my relationship with him. I maintained the status quo, and he seemed good with it. I don’t know what to do.

I am extremely sad because I don’t want to lose my best friend. We had a great relationship, which is why I thought he would appreciate my honesty and we could work through the issue. What’s your advice? — TURNED DOWN IN TENNESSEE

DEAR TURNED DOWN: This person may be wonderful, but he could not handle the responsibility of a close personal relationship with someone who was in love with him if it wasn’t reciprocal. My advice is to accept it and move on. You really have no alternative because the decision has already been made for you. You have my sympathy, but you WILL heal from this. I promise.

DEAR ABBY: All my boyfriend wants to do is clean the house and make love to me. He also cooks for me, massages me, worships my body, insists that I take naps and makes me laugh nonstop. What’s wrong with him? — PONDERING IN THE SUNSHINE STATE

DEAR PONDERING: What’s wrong with YOU? This must be a new relationship. Give it time, and I am sure you will uncover something.

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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