Dear John, My friend Susie recently lost her husband in a tragic accident. Since then, Susie has been chasing everyone else's husband, lying and causing fights. I know that Susie is in pain, but she talks as if she is actually trying to catch one of these guys, and she has most of them wrapped around her finger. How can I help her? —Worried, in Cincinnati, Ohio
Dear Worried, Strong relationships aren't going to crumble because of overt flirting. If these guys are looking for trouble, they'll find it, with or without Susie. At the same time, Susie has forgotten that friendships are built on trust, and right now her actions are not trustworthy. They are a cry for help.
Meet with her alone. Tell her that you love her, as do your other friends, and that everyone realizes that she is in a lot of pain, but her actions are jeopardizing friendships. Suggest that she consider grief counseling. Be prepared to give her the name of a local support group or counselor. The rest is up to Susie. If she is ready to move beyond her grief and anger, she now knows she has the love and support of her friends to do so
Dear John, I met this beautiful woman and everything was OK until I offered her a drink. She said no, then told me that she was once involved with an alcoholic. I had one drink anyway. After all, I was on vacation. The next day, we met again to see the sights. That morning, I had had a couple of drinks to relax. She noticed and asked me about it. I didn't lie. We hit it off great, and at the end of the night, she was wrapped up in my arms, smiling.
To make a long story short, she didn't call me the next day, or the next week. Finally, I called her. She's not interested! Do I have any chance of winning her back? —Frustrated, in Newport Beach, Calif.
Dear Frustrated, She gave you a message, loud and clear: she'd prefer to be around a guy who doesn't drink. Considering her past experience, this is understandable. Knowing this, the decision is now yours. If your feelings are deep enough for a lasting commitment, be the man she wants. Otherwise, you won't be attractive to her. Then again, if casual drinking is part of who you are, find someone who doesn't mind. Otherwise, you'll resent her for pushing you in that direction, and that wouldn't be fair to either of you.
2013 John Gray's Mars Venus Advice. Distributed by Creators Syndicate. John Gray is the author of "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus." If you have a question, write John in care of this newspaper, or by email at: www.marsvenus.com. All questions are kept anonymous, and will be paraphrased.