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Drunken assault severs longtime friendship

DEAR AMY: Recently, after dinner and a fair amount of drinking, my close friend's husband came up behind me and grabbed my crotch. I was shocked, but decided to blow it off. We were staying at their vacation condo at the time. I thought that he would apologize, so we could get past this incident, but the next morning, nothing was said. We were close friends: We were all golfing partners and enjoyed hiking and dinners out. Now I'm so sad because he hurt me (and my husband, and his wife), and our relationship has ended because of the deceit. He is a retired surgeon and should not be able to get away with this. Should I tell my friend, his wife? I miss her and she knows something is wrong, but has no idea what it is.

Upset Friend

DEAR UPSET: Grabbing someone in this way is not a failed and flailing drunken quasi-romantic "pass." It is a sexual assault.

For many different reasons (not the least of which was that you were staying at their home), you decided not to confront the man who assaulted you, either in the moment — or the next day.

Perhaps you are intimidated by this man. I assume that your primary relationship is with the wife, and that you are embarrassed, possibly ashamed, and conflicted — as many assault victims are, especially when the perpetrator is a trusted individual. You still seem averse to confronting him, but would like to confront (or inform) his wife, instead.

Your primary objective seems to be to explain why his actions have resulted in a severing of your relationship with the couple.

I agree that he should not be able to get away with this. You don't seem inclined to try to bring any sort of legal action against this man, but you should consider this as one of your options.

At the very least, you should contact him, in writing, to say, "On the night of state the date, you came up behind me and grabbed me by the crotch. I was too shocked to say anything to you about this at the time, but I'm saying something now. You assaulted and offended me. Your actions have severed a treasured friendship between our families. I am currently considering my options, but for now I know that — at the very least — you owe me an acknowledgment and an apology."

You should consider copying his wife on this message. One or both of them might deny this, or attempt to retaliate. But you should not assist them in brushing it under the rug.

DEAR AMY: "Santa Claused" was going to be alone on Christmas Day, and was wondering how to spend the day, away from family. I suggest using FaceTime/Skype as an alternative! I live a good 10 hours from my parents. Other siblings are closer and are able to make the drive to our folks' place for the holidays. Every other year I make the journey, and on "off" years we set up our laptops to share in each other's company, virtually and from a distance. We all plan to "sit down together" and have our meal at the same time. I'll ask my Mom to pass the salt and she'll hand it to the camera, while I reach for my saltshaker off camera and say "Thanks! Got it!" It's a GREAT way to share a fun, interactive time together. (With less clean up, and more leftovers for me!) We also send gifts to each other, and then open them in "real time," via webcam.

Santa Solved

DEAR SOLVED: This sounds like a lot of fun. It is a great way to use technology in order to spend time together.

DEAR AMY: I was deeply confused about the advice you gave to "Wanting More." Some of the advice you've given in the past led me to believe that you were supportive of women's rights regarding reproductive freedom. Please help me understand this double standard. Why is it OK for a woman to have an abortion without her partner's agreement, but it is also OK for a partner to decide that a woman should not have children? Why is it "my body" if I don't want children, but not "my body" if I do?

Confused

DEAR CONFUSED: If "Wanting More" wants to have more children — she is within her rights to do so. If she wants to stay married to her husband, she has to take his wishes into account.

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