DEAR ABBY: During the past three years, my husband and I managed to save about $45,000 for a down payment on the purchase of a new home. (We each put in about half.) Early last month, I asked my husband if he liked one house we had just seen, and he confessed that he had taken all the money we had saved and put it into a struggling business he has had for 12 years and which I helped him run on weekends.
I am devastated! It’s not just the money, which was for our future. The plan was to purchase an affordable home and pay it off quickly. But he lied to me, strung me along and stole from me, because half of that money was mine. There is no chance he can repay it. My trust in him and our marriage is broken. What are your thoughts? — CRUSHED IN PALM HARBOR, FLA.
DEAR CRUSHED: Because the basis of any successful partnership — and that includes marriage — is trust, I think you have some serious thinking to do. And if you decide to remain married to your husband, you should have access to all documents connected to both your finances in the future.
DEAR ABBY: I am blessed to have many friends who invite me to parties and gatherings. I met a guy at one of them and we had a nice conversation. A few days later he called me. He said he’d gotten my number from our mutual friend. (I had given her permission to give it out to people who had been at the party.)
We talked some more and kept talking and exchanging emails over the course of a couple of months. Because it wasn’t every day or even every week, I thought we were just friends.
At the next party he asked me out on a date — a romantic date. This is a problem. I identify as an aromantic asexual. I do not feel the things he does. Having to explain my sexual orientation to people is embarrassing. Any advice on how to convey this without ruining the friendship we have developed? — EMBARRASSED IN INDIANA
DEAR EMBARRASSED: Try saying it this way: “I’m flattered, but it would be better if we remain just friends. I think you’re terrific, but I am not a romantic or sexual person. It has nothing to do with you. It’s just the way I am and always have been.”
DEAR ABBY: I am a strong and independent 18-year-old girl. I have been with my boyfriend, “Cash,” for four years and he has been an ever-present rock in my life. His 21st birthday is soon, and I’m afraid it may alter our relationship because of things he will be able to do, such as drinking. I want some form of commitment from him before his birthday, so I can be sure he’s as serious about our relationship as I am.
Cash says he doesn’t want to make a commitment now because he wants time to be young and stupid. I understand where he’s coming from, but it seems like he’s setting us up for disaster. Why can’t we be young and stupid together? I’m not asking for marriage now, but a long engagement would prove his devotion to me. Isn’t this a reasonable expectation? If it is, how do I tell him? — WANTS SOME COMMITMENT IN NEBRASKA
DEAR WANTS: For a young woman who is strong and independent, you appear to be somewhat clingy and needy. Commitments such as the kind you’re looking for must be made voluntarily, not as a result of arm-twisting. The harder you try to rope Cash in, the more confined he’s going to feel, so my advice is to loosen up or you stand a good chance of driving him away.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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