ASK DENISE: Other friend group causing rift

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Editor’s note: Writer’s answers do not reflect those of the Mitchell News-Journal and are not meant to replace medical or mental health care.


Dear Denise: I am 13 years old, and my best friend is mad at me because I became friends with some kids who don’t like her and she doesn’t like them. She won’t talk to me as long as I am hanging out with them. I like them; they are a lot of fun. But I don’t want to lose my best friend. What should I do?

Dear Reader: You should be able to have as many friends as you like. Your best friend is probably feeling left out and maybe a little jealous right now. Try to reassure her she is still important to you, but you like having an array of friends. 

Perhaps you can try to find out what the issue is between your new friends and her, and try to help them resolve it. If you can’t, well, there is nothing wrong with having several sets of friends. Just be careful not to fall into the trap of badmouthing one set while with another. 

Also, if you are with one set, and see another friend, do not ignore her. Be friendly and speak, to reduce hurt feelings. Balancing a social life when everyone doesn’t get along can be difficult, but is not impossible.  


Dear Denise: Please don’t judge me, but I need to know, when is it OK to cheat? My wife of 42 years is chronically ill and cannot be a real wife to me. I still love her, but I have needs as well. I am friends with a lady that has made it quite clear that she would be willing to have an affair with me. But I am confused. Would I be a terrible person if I took her up on it? I have had sleepless nights worrying about this.  

Dear Reader: I am not going to judge you, that is not my job. But I also can’t tell you what to do. You have to follow your conscience and do what your heart knows is right. I do not know what your spiritual followings are, but most people have included in their wedding vows a phrase concerning, “in sickness and in health, for better or worse.” Could you live with yourself if you betrayed her? 

Intimacy in a relationship takes many forms, including cuddling, holding hands and tender touch. I assume you still can have this in your marriage.  


Dear Denise: I recently moved to this little mountain town, and I love it here. But I have a straightforward question, is Appalachian pronounced “APP-A-LAYS-SHUN” or “APP-A LATCH SHUN”? I get varying replies when I ask my neighbors.

Dear Reader: I genuinely laughed out loud when I read this. I, too, am a “transplant” and I have heard it pronounced both ways as well. I use your first pronunciation, but I have heard others use the second. I guess it is best to use the one you prefer (unless someone corrects you). Welcome to our community.

Denise Harrison is a Licensed Counselor in Spruce Pine. Send questions to questions All submissions are anonymous.

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