DEAR ABBY: Last week, my best friend, "Lana," tried to kill herself. I'm not sure anyone else knows. Her brother beats her, and her mom yells at her. My family has offered several times to let Lana live with us, as have her grandparents. She still refuses.
Her plan is to move in with her boyfriend when she turns 18 in a few months. I don't think it will be good for her. I'm scared and don't know what to do. I love Lana and I know doing the wrong thing could end up with her dead.
- Terrified BFF in Tennessee
DEAR TERRIFIED: If Lana tried to kill herself because of what's happening at home, she can no longer remain there. Talk to her again. Moving in with her boyfriend is not the answer. She will be emotionally and financially dependent, and it's not a healthy way to start a relationship.
Point out that if she lives with her grandparents or your family, she will be in a safe place while she considers her options. Once she's independent, she will be in a stronger position to make wise decisions about her future.
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend lost the "love of his life" to cancer two years ago. He talks about her and their life together endlessly. He says he wants to build a new life with me, but he constantly criticizes me because "she would handle the situation better."
Abby, the woman was a physician from a wealthy family. I'm a blue-collar worker who single-parented two children. Is there any hope for a future with him? Can I ever feel comfortable being who I am - not the ghost he wants me to be?
- Blue-Collar Lover
DEAR LOVER: As long as your boyfriend continues to compare you unfavorably with his lost love, the answer is no. Have you told him how it makes you feel when he does it? If you haven't, speak up! And when you do, suggest he find a grief support group. Until he does, you'll never be happy. Competing with a ghost is a fight you can't win.