Gal pals canít see positives in womanís open marriage

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

DEAR ABBY: Iíve been in an extramarital relationship for 10 years. My husband knows, and so do my close friends.

I love this man dearly, but neither of us want it to be full-time. I have children at home and donít want to disrupt anything. We meet once or twice a week. He touches base with me several times a day, and is attentive where my husband never was.

My husband isnít bitter about the relationship anymore. However, my two closest friends continually say, ďWell, why lie to yourself? You know you just say you donít want things full-time so you donít drive him away,Ē which isnít true. We have a great thing -- we travel, we have long discussions, and I can open up to him without any repercussions, bouncing ideas and thoughts off of each other without judgment or criticism.

But I really DONíT want this to be full-time. I enjoy it like I enjoy a good book and a glass of wine -- not every day, but an indulgence and a pleasure. It also feels good to hear ďIím thinking of youĒ first thing every morning and the last thing every night. I am flattered.

It feels horrible that my two best friends canít understand that I give of myself to my community and my family and need something that is just for me. I have reached the point where I donít want to have these discussions with my friends anymore, so I avoid them. How can I get across to them that Iím fine and happy and content? -- JUST FOR ME

DEAR JUST: You say you are happy and content, and your husband is OK with the arrangement. Donít you think itís time you stopped trying to ďsellĒ the concept of open marriage to your women friends? By now it should be clear that they do not understand. They probably never will. Most people donít. Let it lie!

DEAR ABBY: I am a first-time mom of a toddler. I suffer from (and am being treated for) anxiety issues.

Abby, I am having trouble finding the balance on gun safety and awareness in other peopleís homes -- especially if my daughter will be visiting. I grew up in a household where my father hunted and had guns in the house. However, he stored them safely in a locked cabinet and was the only one with access to the key. He also stored ammunition separately.

Where do I draw the line? Do I ask everyone whose house Iíll be going to whether or not they have guns? What are the appropriate questions? Do I ask where they are stored and who has access? What else should I ask? Or should I mind my own business? I know the questions wonít be appreciated by everyone because it will seem like I am questioning their judgment. -- FIRST-TIME MOM IN NEW JERSEY

DEAR FIRST-TIME MOM: If you start asking other parents whether they have guns in their homes and how they store them, your questions may be off-putting. Because you are concerned for your childís safety, why not offer to have the kids visit your house for playdates? Iím sure many of the parents will be glad to have some free time, and it shouldnít offend anyone.

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.