Girl is more than roommates can handle


Published: Monday, January 29, 2007 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 29, 2007 at 12:00 a.m.
Dear Abby: My best friend, ''Ted,'' and I recently met an attractive girl I'll call ''Bridget.''
Ted was married and suggested I date Bridget. Within a few days, before I got up the nerve to ask her on a date, Ted broke up with his wife, moved in with me and started seeing Bridget.
This was awkward, but in addition, Bridget started making sexual advances toward me.
Unfortunately, I didn't have the wisdom to keep away from her.
Although we didn't have sex, I was closer to her than I should have been to my best friend's girl.
Ted knows about it, and now ensures that Bridget and I are never alone together.
He constantly worries about the situation, and it is interfering with his job.
I believe he wants to break up with her, but he's afraid I will date her.
I agreed with his suggestion that we both stop talking to her, but they are still dating.
She continues to flirt with me every time he leaves the room, and I am defenseless against a pretty woman.
Bridget says she likes me, but she loves Ted.
She clearly has some attachment issues.
I would love to talk to her about them and help her.
I think Ted and I both have strong feelings for her.
What should we do? Neither of us can resist when she cries or wants something.
Stuck in the Middle Dear Stuck: You are not helpless.
Find your backbone, start using your head, and thank your lucky stars that Bridget ''loves'' Ted.
If you were in his shoes, YOU would be the one constantly worried about who she was coming on to the minute your back was turned.
Bridget appears to use sex as a way of getting attention and validation.
It's a problem that's beyond your expertise to fix - and also mine.
She may need professional counseling, or a self-help group for sexually compulsive people, once she finally admits she has a problem.
The best way I know to avoid temptation is to avoid tempting situations.
In your case, that means spending as little time in Bridget's presence as possible.
. . .
Dear Abby: My mother-in-law, ''Shirley,'' is a dear, sweet, caring and generous person. Therein lies the problem.
Each time she comes to visit, she brings things for the apartment. ''Jasper'' (her son) and I live in a small renovated loft. We both prefer a minimalist look, with just a few decorative items: a museum poster or something that an artist friend created.
Shirley loves craftsy, cutesy, cottage and country-style things. (To me, her home is cluttered with all of her ''collections.'') The things she brings us look completely out of place in our apartment.
I'm sure other people encounter this problem, too. What do we do with all the stuff she brings? And how do we convince her that, while she's entitled to her own preferences, they are not ours?
Hates Dust-Catchers in N. C.
Dear Hates: Your problem is common. The time to nip it in the bud is now, before the situation becomes any more awkward than it already is. You and Jasper need to have a frank, kind, face-to-face chat with Shirley and let her know that you love her and appreciate her thoughtfulness - but while some people regard empty space as a vacuum to be filled, others find it restful and serene. You and Jasper fall into the latter category (surely, she'll understand.) As for what to do with gifts already received, offer to give them back to her.
Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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