My husband, "Max," and I have been married for 12 years and have two precious children. We trust each other 100 percent. Our problem is we're friendly with a couple who have a 15-year-old girl, "Tina." Every time we go there, Tina throws herself at my husband.
The girl wears skimpy clothes, touches Max, makes suggestive remarks, and appears to really have "a thing" for him. He has told her repeatedly that he's not interested and that she's "just a kid," but she hasn't taken the hint to back off.
We've talked to her parents. They say we're reading too much into their daughter's behavior. My husband and I have argued over this, and it's putting pressure on our marriage. I don't want to give up our friends, but I also don't want my marriage to be wrecked by that little slut.
I know Max would never try anything with Tina, but she's the kind who might blame a man if she doesn't get what she wants. How can we get her to cool off?
Marriage on the Rocks in British Columbia
Put as much distance as you can between yourselves and this couple -- or see them only away from their home. If Tina is capable of lying if she doesn't get her way, she's trouble. The smartest thing your husband could do is avoid her.
Friends of ours, "Cindy and Josh," are moving a few states away and throwing a goodbye party for themselves. Are my husband and I required to take a gift to the party? They were married a few months ago, and we were very generous with their shower and wedding gifts.
Josh has been unemployed for more than a year. According to Cindy, he doesn't like to job-hunt, so he's waiting for something to "fall in his lap." On the other hand, Cindy has a well-paying, full-time job. They live rent-free in a house his parents own, and spend their money on sports memorabilia, stereo equipment, electronic gadgets, etc.
Neither one has a job waiting in the city where they're relocating, but they were given money by Cindy's parents to cover moving expenses and rent for the first few months. Cindy is hinting broadly that she expects cash as gifts.
I thought gifts were required only at housewarmings -- not farewell parties. However, my husband doesn't want us to appear cheap. Your thoughts, Abby?
Questioning Couple in Missouri
Although you are not required to take a farewell gift to the party, a token gift would be thoughtful. A small "jam jar" might be appropriate, because I predict they'll encounter more than one along the way. (A book on money management would also be appropriate -- and helpful.)
I am unemployed and looking for work. Unfortunately, my field is shrinking. There is little opportunity for jobs in the future. I am considering returning to school and majoring in health care. It's something that has always interested me -- and it's a growing field.
My problem? My fiancee, "Phoebe," is dead set against me changing careers. She says it's not possible to go to graduate school and maintain a relationship. I find her attitude to be hypocritical since she has an advanced degree and a lucrative income.
I love Phoebe, but I'm tired of being poor and having no job prospects. I don't want to lose her; however, I am frustrated. I've tried talking to her. She won't discuss it and has given me an ultimatum: school or her. What do you think?
Job Change in Vermont
A woman who loves you should want what is best for you. Remaining in a field that is being phased out would leave you financially vulnerable. I urge you to return to school and safeguard your future. It appears Phoebe does not value your happiness, or she would have your best interests at heart.
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, Calif. 90069.
(c)2003, Universal Press Syndicate