Dear Abby: I am a very fortunate 60-year-old male. I have a wonderful life, great kids, I’m a new grandfather and I’m recently retired. I think I am a happy and overall positive person. Most people would be thrilled to have my life.
However, I can’t seem to stop crying. I tear up at the end of every sad or romantic movie. I choke up when I’m around my loved ones, and it is only getting worse. I wonder if it is because of pain I experienced in my past (deaths of loved ones, divorce, etc.) or fear about the future. Do you have any insight based on your experience?
Tearing Up in Ohio
Dear Tearing Up: The death of loved ones can make a person increasingly emotional. Being able to express emotion is a gift, not a disability. You may simply be a sensitive individual, but because you say this is “only getting worse,” it might benefit you to discuss what’s going on with your physician or a licensed mental health professional who can put your concerns to rest.
Dear Abby: My ex-girlfriend and I have been good friends for the past five years. Even though our relationship didn’t work out, I still want to be there for her as a friend. My ex isn’t that financially responsible, nor is her family, and she keeps asking me for bailouts. I have loaned her thousands of dollars since our breakup, Abby.
I am of two minds about this. Part of me feels I’m being taken advantage of. However, the other part of me knows she doesn’t have many friends and, because I believe in karma, I tend to help those in need. Please tell me what I should do. Should I continue helping or let her fail?
Lending a Helping Hand
Dear Lending: There is a point after which “helping” becomes enabling. You reached that milestone years ago. It’s time to let your ex-girlfriend suffer the consequences of her financial irresponsibility so you can focus on helping people who won’t take advantage of your generosity.
Dear Abby: My husband and I used to be very close to another couple in town. Before the pandemic, they caused quite a bit of pain and drama among our friend group, so we decided to add some distance. The pandemic provided the perfect excuse. We exchange texts every few weeks, but otherwise we don’t interact much. The problem is, now that we’re all vaccinated, they want to be friends again and we just aren’t up for it. We don’t know the best way to clearly end the friendship. How do you break up with friends?
Moved On in the Midwest
Dear Moved On: If you want to end the friendship, a way to do that would be to be “busy” and not available to them. If you are asked for an explanation, tell them the pandemic forced you to rethink your schedule, that you see fewer people than you did before it happened — and therefore you are no longer available to the extent that you were. It’s kinder than saying you think they are troublemaking drama queens, which would be unkind and cause hurt feelings.
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.