GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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September 2, 2013

Longtime friend comes up short in personal hygiene

:Dear Abby: I have had a friend since grade school, “Dennis,” and have maintained a friendship with him throughout our lifetime. Dennis never married and lived with his parents until both died about 10 years ago. He now lives alone.

Dennis does not seem to want to take care of himself hygienically, and since we work together it is becoming a serious problem. Some of the other guys don’t want to be around him. He doesn’t bathe often enough or appear to brush his teeth daily.

I have tried repeatedly over the years to talk to him about his apparent lack of cleanliness, and now that he is almost 60, it is becoming unbearable. People are starting to avoid him.

Dennis is a good person and will do anything for anyone, but this lackadaisical attitude is something we can’t overlook. How can I get it across to him? He just doesn’t listen or take me seriously.

:In Need Of Fresh Air

:Dear In Need: Because Dennis’ poor hygiene is affecting his relationship with his co-workers, the person to address the issue is his supervisor or boss. While Dennis may ignore or dismiss your attempts to help him, when he hears from his employers that he has to clean up his act, he may pay more attention.

Dear Abby: For the past year I have been an old friend’s lover. I’m a widow; he is married. I don’t want him to leave his wife because she has been through a lot with him, including alcohol addiction. For the past few months he has given me excuses for not seeing me. We had gotten together on a weekly basis until recently.

I have all the emails and texts we have sent each other, along with pictures and a journal I have kept throughout the relationship. Should I send them to his wife? They have had a long marriage, and he has cheated on her repeatedly for the last 25 years.

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