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Husband won’t confront friend who assaulted wife

Dear Abby: My husband’s best friend groped my privates several years ago at a party. It was traumatizing. I have never forgotten how abused and dirty it made me feel. I told my husband about it when we got home, but he’d had a lot to drink and told me I must have been imagining things.

As time went by, I would occasionally bring it up, especially when we would see this person. When the #metoo movement came into being, it brought out all those memories, and I asked my husband to confront the man, who remains his best friend. He refuses.
I am deeply hurt that he still thinks I’m imagining things and doesn’t have my back. What should I do? Should I drop it or give him an ultimatum — either confront the friend or I leave?

— Torn in Texas

Dear Torn: Your husband doesn’t think you are imagining things. For him to make that accusation is called “gaslighting.” He prefers to avoid a confrontation with his best friend rather than defend you because the friendship is more important to him than your feelings. From where I sit, that doesn’t make your husband much of a man. Men who love their wives do not sit by silently when they have been disrespected.

You might benefit from counseling to get beyond this. Has it occurred to you that YOU should speak up and demand an apology from the “friend”? If you were being serious when you stated that if your husband won’t confront this person, you will leave him, allow me to offer a word of caution: Do NOT issue an ultimatum upon which you are not prepared to follow through.

Dear Abby: I have been married to a wonderful woman for 29 years. We have two grown children, we are best friends, and our life together has been great. Abby, about 10 years ago, I realized I was gay. At first, I tried to ignore my feelings and concentrate on the commitment I had made to my wife and family.

For a while, this worked well. However, my feelings for men grew stronger, and trying to hide from my true self became much harder. Now I can’t stop thinking about being with a man. I have even signed up for a dating site and flirted with a few men, although I have never met any of them in person because I don’t want to cheat on my wife. I don’t know if I should tell her I’m gay and want to date men, or if I should continue suppressing my feelings for the sake of my family. Please help.

— Conflicted in California

Dear Conflicted: You stated that you and your wife are best friends. You aren’t the only person who realized later in life that you were gay and knew you had to be true to yourself. The time has come to tell her everything. She may or may not be shocked by the revelation, but she needs to know. How you both decide to handle this going forward is something only the two of you can work out.

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

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