Dear Abby: My best friend of more than 12 years – the pastor of a large church – was sent to prison several months ago for soliciting sex with two minor children. While I despise what he did, I have enough intimate knowledge to know this was a one-time thing. He’s a sex addict and, while this does not forgive the act, it was just an escalation of his addiction.
I have decided to forgive him and be supportive. My problem is, I knew about his addiction for 11 of the 12 years we have known each other. I feel I could have prevented all this from happening if I had told others and helped him get treatment. How do I apologize to all of those who loved and supported him, not knowing he wasn’t celibate?
– The Guilty Enabler
Dear Enabler: Excuse me? “Just” an escalation of the man’s sex addiction? The man’s lack of character is appalling. That you would turn a blind eye to what he was doing indicates that you have issues of your own that need resolving. Forget about apologizing. You can’t make this better.
Beau shuns holidays
Dear Abby: My boyfriend was raised in a family that didn’t celebrate holidays, including birthdays. While he no longer identifies with his family’s religion, he still doesn’t recognize any celebrations.
I was raised with all the traditions surrounding the holidays. I feel they are very important. I have tried explaining this to him, but his attitude toward holidays borders on hatred.
He recently told me he wants me to stop including him in activities related to holidays and birthdays, and I’m not sure what to do. Would it be unfair to ask him to compromise with me?
– No Happy Birthdays
Dear No Happy Birthdays: You could ask him to compromise, but it would be unrealistic to expect that someone with his ingrained attitude will do so. A fish and a bird may love each other, but it doesn’t mean they can happily cohabit. If you want a happy relationship, find someone whose traditions more closely resemble your own.