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Woman says pot use clouding friend’s mind

Dear Abby: Legal marijuana is making my best friend stupid, boring and insipid. "Susan" and I are in our 50s and have been best friends off and on since childhood. A decade ago, we started taking better care of our friendship because so few longtime friends were still in our lives. Since then, I have been careful not to be judgmental or condescending because it was the source of past friction.

Susan is a regular marijuana user, which has sapped away all of her ambition and curiosity. Even when she isn't actually high, she lacks the cleverness and mental acuity I have always treasured about her. Otherwise, her life is functional. She's in a good marriage, loves her pets and enjoys her job. I think if I said anything, it would cause a major rift.

Should I just limit our time together and accept this is how things are going to be from now on? I'm a widow who has lost my parents and others to illness. I have other friends and family, but I don't want to lose my old chum, even though being around her is starting to make me sad. – Friendship Going To Pot in California

Dear F.G.T.P.: As people grow older, long and well-established relationships become more precious. But much as we might wish otherwise, relationships do not always remain the same. Because you are no longer receiving what you need from your interactions with Susan, I agree you may need to see her less often.

In light of your long relationship, I don't think it would be offensive to tell her you have noticed a change in her and you miss the person she used to be. However, are you absolutely certain that what you have observed is caused by marijuana? If you're not, then consider sharing your observation with Susan's husband, in case her lack of sharpness could be the result of another medication she's using or a neurological problem.

Dear Abby: My husband and I have been married for one year. Yesterday I put all the pieces together and realized he's been cheating on me.

I called the other woman, and after she regained her composure and heard she is a mistress, she told me everything. She gave me the answers I desperately needed, and I am thankful for her honesty and – surprisingly – her compassion.

Now I need to move forward. I am crushed, and even though he can't explain why he cheated, I still want to know why. He says he's going to counseling, which is something I have been begging him to do since I had a miscarriage last summer.

Will he change? Or should I continue to pack the house and move on? – Crushed in Chicago

Dear Crushed: Much depends upon the reason your husband started cheating. If it was a way to avoid experiencing the pain of the loss of the baby, it's possible that with counseling the two of you can get beyond this.

I suggest you ask to be included in one or more of the counseling sessions. If he agrees, at least you will know he is seeing a therapist. If not, you will have to decide whether you have had enough loss in one year to last you a lifetime, and whether you still have a future together.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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