Tears don’t equal real grieving

04/05/2014 6:58 PM

04/05/2014 6:58 PM

D EAR ABBY: I’m 15. Yesterday, they told our class that one of my friend’s parents had died suddenly. Every single person in our grade cried, except for me. I felt bad about not crying for my friend’s loss, but I just didn’t.

Another friend told me that last night people were texting, and it had been mentioned several times that I wasn’t crying and that it looked like I didn’t care, even though I do. I feel bad about not crying, but I don’t want to lie and say that I did. Please help me. — Dry-Eyed in Colorado

DEAR DRY-EYED:

If you feel that any explanation is called for, simply say that when you heard the news you were so stunned that you couldn’t cry. Your reaction is very common. When bad news is conveyed, some people are just struck numb. Believe me, not everyone who can cry on command is necessarily grieving.

Yeah, it’s over

DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, “Chico,” and I have been going together for six years. We have discussed marriage, but for the past few months he has become distant and not as loving as he once was. Chico is the dependent type who often needs to be reminded by his parents or me about things he needs to do.

When I asked Chico what was going on, he said he is confused and he thinks he relies too much on his parents and me for direction.

He said he didn’t want to break up, but he would like some time alone. He assured me there is no one else involved and he wants to continue talking on the phone to me once in a while.

I don’t know what to do! Should I believe what he is saying about needing time, or do you think this is Chico’s way of telling me it’s over? — Heartbroken in Hoboken

DEAR HEARTBROKEN:

Frankly, I think Chico is trying to break it to you gently that it’s over. Wish him well and let him go.

You probably meant well, but the problem with giving someone “directions” is, it prevents that person’s own compass from guiding him where he needs to go. Look at it this way: This may be a period of growth for Chico and for you as well.

A right-fighter

DEAR ABBY: I have been dating someone over the last two years and our relationship has had a lot of ups and downs. We are in our 50s and we have both been married before.

The problem is, he thinks he always has to be right. He’ll never admit to being wrong. We love each other and spend most of our time together, but every time we have an argument, he calls our relationship off. I am always the one who calls to patch things up. Should I let this relationship go once and for all? — Tired of the Drama in Atlanta

DEAR TIRED OF THE DRAMA:

Yes, I think so. Your gentleman friend has an unhealthy way of dealing with conflict. Unless your idea of a happy marriage is one in which you are always the peacemaker, I doubt it would last.

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