DEAR ABBY: The former friend doesn’t know the whole story

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DEAR ABBY: About 10 years ago, my longtime best friend « Byron » abruptly cut me out of his life. I never quite understood why. I contacted him intermittently for several years without success. Then I bumped into him, exchanged pleasantries, and we followed. He sent me back my email, we started communicating again about important things and it seemed like our friendship was on the mend.

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Shortly after, my wife (only an acquaintance of hers) got divorced and launched a massive attack on me on social media. Most of my friends understood his lies. I took the high road and never said anything about his madness. Then she sped it up by suing some of the people she knew were important in my life, including Byron. Shortly after, I heard she had her hooks in him and he stopped communicating with me. My ex-wife has since passed away.

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I have dreams that Byron and I are friends again, doing the things we used to do, and I’d like to try « Rebuild No. 2 » but I don’t know where to start. He never got the whole story, just the part that made me look bad. Am I mentioning my ex-wife’s lies, or am I just trying to start over? And if yes, how ? – STILL WITHOUT FRIENDS IN MICHIGAN

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DEAR WITHOUT FRIENDS: True friends don’t treat each other like Byron treated you. They discuss their differences instead of cutting each other off. Your « friend » could have come to see you after being contacted by your ex-wife. He could also have asked some of your mutual friends if what she was spreading was true. Byron did neither. Go on with your life and don’t look back, or you’ll get more of the same from that person.


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DEAR ABBY: I am very depressed and angry with myself. I cheated on my husband, « Hal », and told him after I realized I had caught an STI from the man I cheated with. Hal was very upset and we didn’t talk for a day and a half, but he didn’t shout or insult me. I feel so guilty and confused. He’s really nice, he doesn’t insult me. It’s strange.

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Things are different between us now, and it’s my fault. It will take time and patience I guess. But I miss the intimacy and affection that Hal and I once shared. Is it normal that I want him to yell at me and show his anger? When I try to talk about him getting tested for STIs, he shuts up and brings up the past. Help me please. I just want things to go back to how they were before I cheated. What do I do? — CHEATER RETRACTING IN OREGON

DEAR RELUCTANT CHEATER: Hal needs to talk to his doctor and schedule an appointment to be tested, and you need to be prepared to tell him about the « past » and why you cheated on him. You owe your husband an explanation. Just because he didn’t yell at you or insult you doesn’t mean he isn’t hurt and angry about what happened. It may be necessary to see a licensed marriage and family therapist to get your marriage repaired. If you do this, although your relationship may never go back to how it was before you cheated, it might be better.

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