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Dear Amy: Over the last two decades, my partner and I have helped a friend through several abusive relationships, rehab and financial issues. Now, not unlike her history of addiction, she's suddenly "found God" to the extreme.

She says she wants to move on from her past, but then she posts: "In search of a Hot Christian Man, because I am a Hot Christian woman." I've suggested that if she dialed down the intensity a few notches, "Hot Christian Man" would find her. She disagrees, and says that I don't get it.

Maybe I don't it. Is this another addiction running its course?

Amy says: Yes, in my opinion, this sudden hyperreligiosity might be prompted by the same brain circuitry that has fed her various addictions. Fortunately, this is not your job to sort out. I would think that after over 20 years of intervening and trying to protect your friend from her own addictions, passions, and choices, you would take this as your cue to "let go and let God."

Your friend likely will want to draw you in for the save once this phase passes, her "hot guy" turns out to be a hot dog or the sand beneath her metaphorical house shifts beneath her. You can decide then if you want to intervene yet again.

The game's afoot

Dear Amy: For the last 25 years, I have been part of a small, monthly "game night." The group consists of a married couple, "Travis" (a single man) and myself.

The married couple recently had an acrimonious separation, but have now reconciled and are "working it out." The wife told me that during one of their battles, her husband accused me and Travis of saying disparaging things about her. This is patently untrue.

As hurtful as this has been, I have kept her comments to myself, not wanting to drag Travis into the battle. I have not spoken to the husband. It will soon be my turn to host, but I am unable to set aside my anger at him and my distrust of her. Any suggestions as to how I can diplomatically handle this?

Amy says: When people pass along secondhand disparaging comments or accusations, they often are trying to disparage the person who (allegedly) originated them. And yet this reportage always backfires, because the innocent party ends up disliking and distrusting both people.

I suggest calling or writing an email to the wife. You might say that you are genuinely happy that she and her husband are working things out, but that because of the accusation she passed along to you, your feelings are hurt. You might add, "I've chosen not to pass this along to Travis, and I hope you won't, either. I'd like to move forward, but I want to honestly let you know how this has affected me."

This friend owes you an apology.

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