DEAR ABBY: My sister, “Heidi,” and I are very close. We share a room and confide in each other about everything, with the understanding that nothing will be revealed to our parents or anyone else -no matter what.

Heidi recently told me that her boyfriend, “Chad,” is putting heavy pressure on her to have sex. She’s only 16, which is way too young. She says he has promised to use protection so she won’t get pregnant.

Abby, my sister really doesn’t want to have sex with Chad, but she doesn’t want to lose him either. She doesn’t think she’s very attractive. She has a hard time meeting boys, and Chad is her first real boyfriend.

I don’t want to break her confidence, and I know that our parents would go crazy and forbid her from seeing him anymore if they knew. How can I convince Heidi that it’s not worth it, and if it means losing this guy, she’s better off? – PROTECTIVE SISTER IN INDIANAPOLIS

Remind Heidi that even though Chad has promised to use protection to prevent a pregnancy, sometimes it can fail. Further, having sex with someone because she’s afraid that if she doesn’t she’ll lose him is doing it for the wrong reason. If the guy is just after sex, he’ll be after the next girl who presents a challenge.

Remind Heidi that giving her virginity is something she can do only once – and that is the reason it should be with someone very special, preferably the man she would like to spend the rest of her life with. And even then, it should be because she’s really ready and not because it was something she was pressured into.

DEAR ABBY: My husband reads your column every day, so I hope you will print this.

I have been in a long, stormy marriage for years. Several years ago, my husband started removing all household cash, leaving me with no money, whenever he became angry and upset with me, whatever the reason. Other women tell me this happens to them, too.

What does this behavior indicate? – WEARY IN PENNSYLVANIA

It indicates that your husband is using money (or the lack of it) to control and manipulate you. It is considered a form of spousal abuse.

You – and the other women this is happening to – would be wise to put aside a little money every week until you accumulate enough to consult a lawyer about what rights you have as a wife in the state of Pennsylvania. From my perspective, you are all being shortchanged.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have socialized with another couple, “Ginger” and “Roy,” for about 20 years. And for that entire length of time, I cannot recall a single evening when they did not argue with each other. It gets very nasty and involves name-calling. It has made us very uncomfortable, and we’d prefer not to socialize with Ginger and Roy any longer.

Their invitations are always open-ended, and I can’t think of enough excuses to avoid them. What would be a diplomatic way of letting them know we don’t want to continue seeing them? – CORNERED IN LOS ANGELES

After tolerating Ginger and Roy’s misbehavior for 20 years, I’m surprised that it is only now that you have decided to draw the line. Because you don’t plan to continue socializing with them, there is no reason to beat around the bush. The couple may not realize how offensive their bickering and name-calling are to other couples, and you will do them a favor to tell them exactly why they won’t be seeing you.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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