DEAR AMY: My ex-girlfriend and I did not communicate for five months. The relationship did not end well. We spoke recently and she informed me that she was sexually assaulted by her best guy friend. He is a drinking buddy of hers. She said the friendship is over, but because he is extremely well off and always pays for everything, I wouldn’t be shocked if they were hanging out in a month.
She is the definition of stubborn and will most likely stuff this painful experience down with all the others. What advice would you give to her? I care about her and would like to pass it along. -- Caring Ex
DEAR CARING: My advice is that your ex should go to the police so this guy can be charged with sexual assault. She should also be examined by a physician, get a pregnancy test and be tested for STDs. She should seek counseling.
Pushing down painful experiences doesn’t work. Burying trauma can make her vulnerable and eventually numb her to the reality and consequences of her own choices. This is frightening, and I assume she reached out to you because she trusts you to help her. I hope you will.
She should contact the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network to communicate with an online or phone counselor about this sexual assault. Their Web site is rainn.org and hotline is 800-656-HOPE (4673).
DEAR AMY: I’ve been divorced for 25 years. Since then, I’ve experienced some serious issues, but got through with a lot of therapy. I’ve put my life back together and am happy.
My two sons are successful adults, but my oldest son and my ex-wife despise me, and I haven’t had contact with them for years. My youngest has remained in my life and has been supportive. His mother and brother both deride him for maintaining contact with me.
Now my youngest is ready to get married, and I don’t know what to do about the wedding. I don’t want my presence to be a distraction. I’m thinking I can attend the ceremony but skip the reception so that my son doesn’t have to worry about me diverting positive attention from him and his bride. What do you think? -- Want to do Right
DEAR RIGHT: You are very thoughtful to anticipate problems and to keep your son and his bride at the forefront of this event.
Discuss this with your son and his fiancee. You may find that they are willing to tolerate some awkwardness, discomfort or distraction to include you in their wedding and reception. Let them guide you.
DEAR AMY: “Confused Commuter” asked for your point of view on how best to merge two lanes of traffic into one. I know there are different recommendations for how to do this, but I’d like to emphasize that no matter how you merge, please use your turn signal to “ask permission” to be let in! -- Polite Driver
DEAR DRIVER: I agree. And a little “thank you” wave can’t hurt.
DEAR AMY: “Unsure” wrote to you, saying she had a prospective dinner guest who was asking her to purchase special food from an expensive organic food market. I agree with you that this was a rude request for a guest to make.
I’m surprised that you didn’t suggest that the hostess should tell the guest to bring whatever special food she requires to the dinner. I think that’s better than responding, “We’ll miss you.” -- Avid Reader
DEAR AVID: Suggesting that this guest would be welcome to bring her own special food is a polite solution to a rude demand. Well done.
Here’s another point of view on the same topic, posted by a reader on my Facebook page: “I think this guest’s request is just crazy. If your diet is so restrictive that you can’t eat the food offered, don’t go. The hostess is not a catering service. Or as I like to say, ‘You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.’ ”
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