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Sobering up changes dynamics of wife’s closest relationships

DEAR ABBY: I know I have been blessed with wonderful relationships in my life. I have been married to the same lovely man for 25 years. I am also fortunate to have had the same best friend for 40 years. The problem? They drink.

Because of past behavior, I decided to get sober two years ago. I know I won’t be able to drink socially again. I changed; they didn’t.

We are all very high-functioning alcoholics. We never miss work and lead, for the most part, productive lives. I love them both so much. My husband is supportive and adoring. My best friend and I have gone through everything together. But Abby, I can’t stand them after 8 p.m. after which they both repeat the same things over and over, and tell me how much they love me (in a slurry, sloppy way).

My life isn’t bad, but this is making me miserable. I’m not asking that they quit drinking entirely, but for the sake of our relationship, I wish they’d just slow down some. Am I wrong to ask something of them that will change what was a big part of all of our lives for so long? I’m not willing to throw away long-term relationships, but I am truly at my wits’ end. — ODD ONE OUT IN WASHINGTON

DEAR ODD ONE OUT: Because you can’t control the behavior of anyone else, you have two choices — change the way you react to the person(s) or end the relationship(s). In this case, I vote for the former. Because your husband and your good friend are so drunk after 8 p.m. that they can no longer clearly pronounce their declarations of affection, plan some socially distanced visits with other sober individuals a few nights a week, including support group meetings for yourself, if you’re not already attending them.

DEAR ABBY: I’m 16, and I feel as though my mother (a single parent) does not respect that I have differing political opinions. She is very liberal and is a registered Democrat. I am very conservative and, as of a few weeks ago, a registered Republican.

When I want to leave the house, if I’m wearing any of my conservative slogan apparel, she yells at me and tells me I’m not allowed to represent “us” like “that.” I always do my best to be respectful of her beliefs and to have a civil conversation with her about politics, but she just ends up yelling at me and telling me I’m never going to get a girlfriend or find a job with my beliefs. At the same time, she’s the most loving, supportive person I know when it comes to anything BUT politics. What can I do to get her to respect who I am and what I stand for? — FREE-THINKING GUY IN D.C.

DEAR GUY: Be patient with her and remain respectful. Because you understand that your mother is the most loving and supportive person you know (except when it comes to politics), try to accept that she’s being protective in the only way she knows how — warning that in this current environment, expressing political beliefs can have lasting consequences. No matter what your political leanings are, as you mature I’m confident you will find a girlfriend and job that are compatible.  

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


 Comedian Norm Crosby is 93. Actor Henry Darrow (“The High Chaparral”) is 87. Baseball Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry is 82. Actor Tommy Lee Jones, below, is 74. Movie director Oliver Stone is 74. Football Hall of Famer Dan Marino is 59. Actor Danny Nucci (“The Fosters”) is 52. Singer Ivette Sosa (Eden’s Crush) is 44. Actor Tom Hardy (“The Dark Knight Rises”) is 43. Actress Marisa Ramirez (“Blue Bloods”) is 43. Actress Amy Davidson is 41. Britain’s Prince Harry is 36. TV personality Heidi Montag is 34.


Finish what you start. It’s time to build a solid foundation upon which to build your future. How you perceive your journey will have a lot to do with the success you achieve. Don’t be afraid to do things differently. Aim to stand out, not to blend in.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) — As information unfolds, you will have second and third thoughts. Listen, assess and think things through before you change directions or commit to something uncertain.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) — Listen to your inner voice and make your move. Let your emotions take charge and the world know how you feel. Saying what’s on your mind will help you discover the best path to take. Don’t fold under pressure.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22) — Protect your reputation. Think innovatively, and make adjustments that will protect your safety, well-being and important relationships. You can get things done today.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21) — Keep moving forward. Refuse to let anyone come between you and your goal. Stay on top of new technology and any economic changes that might jeopardize your financial standing. Avoid impulsive moves.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) — It’s time to make a move. Look over your finances, and you’ll find a way to improve your current situation. Let your gut feeling lead you to security and long-term success.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Sit tight, be an observer and plan how best to move forward when the time is right. You can make personal improvements if you pool your resources with a loved one.

PISCES (Feb. 20-March 20) — Speak the truth and clear the air. Focus on building strong unions with the people who are most likely to have your back. Someone from your past will offer insight into a confusing situation.

ARIES (March 21-April 19) — Do something that will boost your morale or help you bring about positive physical change. Start a new fitness routine or diet that will help you build strength and ward off illness.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) — Aim to please, but not at your own expense. Offer kindness and compassion, not your cash. If the advice you offer comes from the heart, it will be well-received. Hard work will pay off.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) — Inconsistency is apparent. Ask questions, and be precise to avoid a misunderstanding. Emotions will flare if someone doesn’t give you accurate information. Proceed with caution, and stick to the truth.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) — You’ll stumble across valuable information through conversations with friends, relatives or colleagues. Be open to suggestions, but keep an eye on your wallet.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) — You must get things right the first time if you wish to avoid criticism or complaints. A change someone makes will leave you in an awkward position. Be prepared to proceed on your own. Romance is featured.


By Chuck Sheppard

Compelling Explanation: In Chesterfield County (Virginia) court on Aug. 12, prosecutors and the defense attorney for 55-year-old Robert Raff floated a dubious agreement in Raff’s grisly murder case. Raff is accused of killing his father and his mother in the same home, during the same two-day period in 2019. Two psychologists agreed that at the time of the killings, Raff was insane. But the lawyers want to hold him culpable for his mother’s death, but not guilty by reason of insanity for his father’s death. “Explain to me how he can be guilty of one and not guilty of the other?” asked Circuit Judge David E. Johnson, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Raff, who has a long history of mental health issues, admitted to killing both parents. The lawyers’ unusual plea agreement is designed to produce a suspended 40-year sentence for the killing of his mother that would compel Raff to adhere to treatment at the Central State Hospital for the murder of his father.

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