DEAR AMY: I’m a 28-year-old straight male. My best friend from childhood and I rent an apartment together. He came out to me when he was 18. I care about him as a brother (I’m an only child). We respect each other’s boundaries and I support him being gay.
A couple of months ago my girlfriend of four years ended our relationship and I was crushed. During that time my best friend told me he needed to tell me a secret – that he had sexual feelings toward me and wanted to know if I felt the same way. I told him I loved him as a brother only and did not share any sexual feeling toward him.
After that night I thought everything was OK between us. Things went back to normal, but a couple of weeks ago he came home drunk. He crawled into bed with me and tried to be sexual with me.
I have been avoiding him and have not been talking to him. I don’t want to be in the same room alone with him right now, and I’m not sure what to do. I really do care for him like he’s my own brother. I don’t want to lose my friendship with him, but how do I get the point across to him that I’m not interested in him sexually? What can I do about this problem?
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DEAR SAD: Crawling into bed and coming on sexually to a sleeping person is assault. Unfortunately, like many victims of unwanted sexual contact, you seem to be blaming yourself and wondering what you can do to repair the relationship with the aggressor.
But he is the one who has disrespected and violated you. An ongoing friendship between the two of you might be impossible. This represents a huge loss for you, which is why you would like to try to repair what he broke.
What happened is not your fault! It is his. You should think very seriously about whether you want to continue to cohabit with him. If you want to try to have a friendship, you two will have to talk about it. He should apologize and assure you this will never happen again. If it does, the friendship is over and the police should be called.
DEAR AMY: We have family members who like to stay with us every time they are in town. They live about five hours away. Typically when they come to stay, most of our other family members (who live only an hour away) will come to stay too.
We love that our young kids get to see their cousins, but it is a lot of work! This last time, we were informed just days beforehand that 10 people would be spending the weekend with us. We decided to send out an email telling everyone to help with a meal since it gets expensive for us (we’re a young family!) and it is hard to cook eight meals for 18 people!
The relatives who live five hours away have told us twice now that they won’t be bringing anything or could maybe bring water or chips. They have a family of five so it would be nice for them to contribute (since we are doing everything else). Am I wrong in still expecting them to bring a meal to share? I don’t think packing a cooler is that hard!
DEAR EXASPERATED: I’m struggling to imagine the dynamic where a family of five gets to announce that they are staying with you while also refusing to contribute to the greater good. Your response to this should start with your willingness to say “no” the next time they tell you they are coming. Your uninvited guests’ choice should be simple: Accept one meal assignment and cleanup duty for the group, or find somewhere else to stay.
DEAR AMY: “Godmother” wondered how to protect her young goddaughter from some very ill-advised behavior on the part of the girl’s mother.
This child is seven years old! Why on Earth was she taken on a drunken “girls’ weekend” in the first place?
DEAR DISGUSTED: I agree with your take on this.
Contact Amy Dickinson via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.