DEAR ABBY: Since I moved eight years ago, my son, "Jim," has visited me only once, and that's because I gave his son my car. I rarely hear from him. We have totally different ideas on life, and it has caused a rift in our relationship.
When I have visited Jim and his wife, they just sit and watch movies. Over the years, I have given my son money and housed him when he went through a terrible divorce. His children are grown now, and I don't hear from them either.
He remarried a woman he met on the internet who has different ideas on things than my family and the way I was brought up. It hurts me very much. What's your opinion on what to do about this situation? -- LET DOWN IN IDAHO
DEAR LET DOWN: It's sad, but the breakdown in your relationship with Jim started a long time ago. It should have been addressed then.
It's not uncommon for adults to have ideas that differ from their parents', but it shouldn't cause a rift. If your son and his wife are hiding behind their television set rather than conversing, the situation may be as uncomfortable for them as it is for you.
If the dynamics in your relationship are going to improve, you will have to convince them to discuss where things went off track, agree to disagree on certain topics and talk about other things when you see them. From what you have written, it appears you are doing all the work in the relationship.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a gay male who has fallen in love with my best friend, who is straight. After months of feeling dishonest in our friendship, I told him how I felt. At first he seemed OK with it. He told me he couldn't reciprocate those feelings, but he still loved me as his friend and asked me not to make it "weird."
A month later, he said if I can't find a way to fall out of love with him, we could no longer be friends. I didn't change anything about my relationship with him.
I am extremely sad because I don't want to lose my best friend. We had a great relationship, which is why I thought he would appreciate my honesty. What's your advice? -- TURNED DOWN IN TENNESSEE
DEAR TURNED DOWN: This person may be wonderful, but he could not handle the responsibility of a close personal relationship with someone who was in love with him if it wasn't reciprocal. My advice is to accept it and move on. You really have no alternative because the decision has already been made for you. You have my sympathy, but you WILL heal from this.