DEAR ABBY: My longtime girlfriend has male friends who visit her during the day while I’m away for about a week every month. I know them, they are interesting people, and I agree with that. She now has a friend who is a religious healer – something she gravitates toward.
He lives three hours away, and when he visits, he stays overnight. I met him recently. He’s here now while I’m in two states. He practices healing with her and others she introduces to him. He goes in the water every day of the year, and now my girlfriend does too, usually very early in the morning. Presumably, they’re doing this together while I’m gone. Maybe he enters naked; she would find it natural.
She told me not to worry about nights and hands-on healing because “he’s a man of God.” I told him it made no difference. He is divorced and single. Am I foolish to let this happen without making a strong objection? — MYSTIFIED IN MAINE
DEAR MYSTIFIED: Because this woman is your “longtime” girlfriend, you have every right to make your feelings known about the arrangement. If you weren’t comfortable with the idea of her entertaining a single divorced man overnight in your absence, you should have said so from the start. Whether the two are sexually involved is beside the point. If she cares about your feelings, she should respect them. However, if she doesn’t, it might be time for you to find another girlfriend.
DEAR ABBY: My ex-husband and I met in 2006, had a beautiful daughter in 2007, got married in 2010 and divorced in 2013. He was honest with me about being a drug addict in recovery (drugs and alcohol) when we met. Our first years together were great. However, he fell off the wagon after the wedding and started using drugs and drinking again. It quickly got out of control and I refused to raise our young daughter in this environment.
He continued in his addictions for seven years after our divorce. He got clean and sober again in 2019, rekindled his strained relationship with our daughter, and is trying to rekindle ours as well. We are currently co-parenting and call each other friends, but he wants more.
I forgave him the hurts and betrayals of the past, but I can’t forget the pain. I can’t help but be afraid that if I let him back into my life romantically, history will repeat itself. Should I let go of the past and give it another chance, or continue to co-parent and keep it in the friend zone? — FORGIVEN BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
DEAR FORGIVENESS: I suggest you attend some Nar-Anon meetings (nar-anon.org), an organization founded to help friends and family affected by someone else’s addiction. If you do, it will give you additional insight. Recovering addicts are notorious for falling off the wagon, as you well know. My question for you is this: are you strong enough to start over if the need arises? No one else can answer this question for you.
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 PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069. ** **