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Ask Amy

When friendship fades, exit quietly

Q. I’ve been best friends with “Molly” since we were children. We’re now in our early 20s.

We’ve been very close and have always shared our ups and downs.

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She has suffered from an eating disorder for a few years now. She’s received help, but her life seems to be a roller coaster.

I’ve tried being there for her, but she has a tendency to shut down and block me out. She has ditched me at the last minute on many occasions (my birthday, holidays, and many other times) without any notice. Then she ignores me for a few weeks or a few months.

This hurts me. I don’t have many friends, and I worry about her.

When she finally communicates with me, she says she’s “just been having a rough time lately,” but she will post pictures on Facebook of her activities during these times, and I see that she seems to be busy with other friends.

This friendship is held up only by me, and I think I’ve had enough.

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She hasn’t talked to me for more than a month now. I deleted her off Facebook because I got annoyed seeing her interacting with all of her other friends, except for me.

Should I communicate my feelings — or leave her wondering? That’s how she always treats me, so maybe I should show her what it feels like.

A. If your friend suffers from anxiety or depression, this would compel her to pull away periodically, and it would be a mistake for you to take it personally.

However, given the fact that this relationship is depleting you, you should — finally — act only on your own behalf and not attempt to manipulate Molly.

If you try to make her wonder about you, I guarantee that she will not wonder about you. If you try to retaliate in some way, this negative energy will only bounce back and hit you in the gut, because she may lack the capacity to notice.

If it would make you feel better to express your disappointment in her, then do it. If it would make you feel better to simply fade away, then definitely do that.

Q. I recently got married. In addition to registering for traditional items, my husband and I decided to include two charities for those who didn’t see the need for us to own 12 china settings.

We never thought anything of this, other than the potential good it could do. However, I was just reading through an online wedding forum, and many people thought it was rude to ask guests to donate to charity. They said that a wedding was not a time to discuss “depressing” things.

These people equated charity registries to just asking for cash. They assumed that brides who went this route were arrogant.

Was I in the wrong? Is it tacky and pretentious to include charities on a wedding registry?

A. Registries are all about directing guests’ giving toward what the marrying couple wants to receive. Many guests find registries very helpful, though guests can choose to ignore a registry.

My reaction to your choice to include nonprofits is not that this is “depressing” (far from it), but perhaps a little confusing. It’s as if you are including a grab bag of opposing ideas for guests.

However, this was your wedding. Many couples use their nuptials to inspire guests to raise money for charity, and I don’t think it’s tacky at all — it’s lovely.

Send questions via e-mail to askamy@tribune.com or by mail to Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60611.

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