DEAR ABBY:

I am a gay woman. My partner, "Jenny," and I have been friends with another couple for 15 years. Over the past year I have come to realize that I no longer want to be friends with them. One of them has been particularly unkind to me, and frankly, we don't have a lot in common.

Jenny is uncomfortable with my decision and wants me to talk with them to discuss my feelings. They have already asked her if there's a problem. If I talk with them, I'm sure they will be offended by what I have to say because I didn't say anything when the issues first arose. I'm not good at confrontation, and it's hard for me to tell someone my feelings are hurt.

The bottom line is, I want out of this couple's friendship. But I need to do it in a way that's OK with Jen. I met the couple through her, and she wants to continue her friendship with them. Please help.

- Moving On in Georgia

DEAR MOVING ON: It would not be confrontational to tell them that although you have known each other for a long time, you feel you have grown apart. You should also mention that your feelings were hurt when one of them said "( )." At least that way they will understand why you have disappeared, and Jenny won't be left with the responsibility of explaining it to them.