Lonely man dur­ing hol­i­days should reach out to oth­ers

The Washington Times Daily - - LIFE - ABIGAIL VAN BUREN 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.

DEAR ABBY: I be­came es­tranged from my fam­ily af­ter I came out as gay. I am OK with it and don’t re­ally care any­more. The prob­lem is, be­sides hav­ing no fam­ily, I have no friends ei­ther. I al­ways had dif­fi­culty mak­ing friends. I’m an in­tro­vert and was bul­lied at school, so I found it more com­fort­able just hang­ing out at home by my­self.

I have come to ac­cept the ab­sence of friends as my re­al­ity. I try to do fun things by my­self, like see­ing movies and eat­ing out at res­tau­rants, but the hol­i­day sea­son is hard to bear.

Most peo­ple look for­ward to it, but I dread this time of year. It only makes me more aware of how alone and lonely I am.

I am too em­bar­rassed to go out by my­self dur­ing the hol­i­days be­cause most peo­ple are out with fam­ily and friends. Can you sug­gest some things I could do for the hol­i­days in­stead of stay­ing home and watch­ing TV by my­self? — HOL­I­DAY HURTING IN THE EAST

DEAR HOL­I­DAY HURTING: I may be able to solve two of your prob­lems at the same time. Start call­ing some of the char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tions in your area and ask if they can use an ex­tra pair of hands dur­ing the hol­i­day sea­son. Serv­ing food at a home­less shel­ter or food pantry and de­liv­er­ing meals to shut-ins come to mind.

A sure cure for the blues is to reach out and do some­thing for some­one who needs a help­ing hand. If you try it, you may meet like-minded peo­ple and start some friend­ships.

DEAR ABBY: My wife of 37 years is a per­fec­tion­ist. I am not. Her fa­ther used to call her “Lit­tle Miss Per­fect.” I try to help around the house, but she al­ways comes af­ter­ward to “cor­rect” my mis­takes and make things “per­fect.” I am not sloppy about my work — just not up to her stan­dards.

Two ex­am­ples: I make the bed; she re­makes it. I can’t even mow the grass cor­rectly be­cause she likes di­ag­o­nal cut­tings and I cut par­al­lel to the street. Af­ter one day, there’s no dif­fer­ence. As a re­sult, I have given up help­ing.

This doesn’t bother her one bit; she gladly does all the work. Fur­ther, she’s busy ALL day. We never have a chance to talk. When we do, it is al­ways triv­ial: the weather, our sched­ule or her job at work.

I am re­tired and find this dis­con­cert­ing. When I try my hob­bies, she’s all over me, so I quit them.

Most men would trade places in an in­stant, but I’m just try­ing to fig­ure out how to live with her and my­self. I try to golf a lot. — UN­HAPPY HUBBY IN MICHI­GAN

DEAR UN­HAPPY HUBBY: Has it oc­curred to you that your wife may suf­fer from OCD, and that’s the rea­son ev­ery­thing has to be “per­fect”? It ap­pears the only thing that isn’t per­fect is your mar­riage.

Per­haps it’s time you talked to her about how her ob­ses­sion with per­fec­tion makes you feel — be­cause from where I sit, it comes across as a pas­sive-ag­gres­sive put­down. Un­less she’s will­ing to rec­og­nize that what she’s do­ing isn’t healthy for your mar­riage and con­sider pro­fes­sional help, noth­ing will change.

In the mean­time, con­sider more hob­bies you can do on your own or with friends — hik­ing, hunt­ing, ski­ing, fish­ing, etc.

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