DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been married for a year. Recently, I have been questioning my sexuality and have realized that I am gay. I have been trying to think of different ways of telling her, but I don’t want to hurt her. Please help. — COMING OUT IN OHIO
DEAR COMING OUT: You are right: You must tell your wife, and the sooner, the better. She may — or may not — be shocked and possibly angry. During the talk, make clear that this has nothing to do with her, her attractiveness or femininity. Afterward, suggest she contact the Straight Spouse Network for support if she feels the need. It’s an organization founded many years ago by Amity Pierce Buxton, Ph.D., to support heterosexual spouses of LGBTQ mates. Your wife can find it online at straightspouse.org, and I highly recommend it.
DEAR ABBY: I am an introvert, which may be hard to believe since I am the sixth child in a family of 10. I enjoy talking with my siblings. My problem is how to handle people who call and think I should be happy to chat about nothing of interest to me. During the pandemic this has become a major problem.
— NOT INTERESTED IN VIRGINIA
DEAR NOT INTERESTED: Your problem isn’t unique. During this period of social isolation, social contact can be crucial in combatting depression. I’m hearing from people who say, “Every day is exactly the same as the last one. I have nothing to say to my spouse, my children, my friends, etc. I’m bored stiff, and I have become a boring person.”
It is important that you allot some time to those who are reaching out, but it doesn’t mean you must be a prisoner to long conversations. Tell the caller you’re glad they are adjusting and maintaining their sanity. If you see something noteworthy on television, in your online research or a book you are reading, share it. But no law says you must remain on these phone calls for long periods or participate in them every day. Consider rationing them instead.
— ANDREWS MCMEEL