DEAR AMY: My friend’s husband had an affair with his much younger assistant. My friend found a couple of very racy messages from her to him.

This was going on for months and months. The assistant was also married at the time. He told my friend that they only slept together once, and that he can’t fire her because he’s not her boss and can’t make that decision.

He also said that he told the assistant they had to stop communicating (other than about work). He later admitted he lied about that, but he claims it is over now.

My friend believes him and thinks her marriage is worth saving. She has decided to stay with him. I say she needs to leave the marriage because she’s worth more than what he’s done (and what I believe he is still doing). I think he’s a liar.

Should I tell her to face facts and leave the marriage, or should I just keep being an ear and shoulder for her to cry on? -- Concerned Friend

DEAR FRIEND: You should not try to convince someone who is clearly determined to stay with her husband that her marriage is not worth trying to save. The reason to keep your opinion to yourself is because your friend will stay in the marriage, and in the end you will pay for your candor, and this important friendship will be damaged.

Marriage is an intimate relationship between two people. It is a bad idea to involve a third party or to allow yourself to get drawn into someone else’s marriage. This is a lesson both you and your friend need to learn.

DEAR AMY: My husband has been sabotaging my health and weight ever since he retired and decided to learn to cook. He proudly makes dinner for us every other night.

His inspiration is Guy Fieri, host of the TV show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” with its emphasis on fatty meats, fried foods and rich sauces. He now serves meals such as huge Reuben sandwiches slathered with melted Swiss and creamy dressing.

His dishes are delicious and hard to resist. Besides, I don’t want to insult him by not eating what he has so lovingly prepared.

But his high-fat/low-fiber foods give me miserable digestive problems and steady weight gain. I worry about my high cholesterol and my family history of heart attacks.

Although I have gently tried to teach my husband some of the tricks I’ve learned over 40 years of cooking that cut down on unhealthy calories, fats and sodium, he rebuffs me. His weight and health do not seem affected.

On the couple of nights I’ve put my foot down and forbidden him to cook, he’s gotten angry. What can I do? -- Force-Fed to the Grave

DEAR FORCE-FED: I agree that your husband is sabotaging your efforts, but every time you lift fork to mouth you should remind yourself that you are responsible for your own health.

Because this food literally makes you ill, you should not eat it. If your husband belittles you for this, then you should face the fact that your gastric issues will simply never be as painful for him as they are for you.

As good a cook as he is, he is obviously not worthy of being in charge of your diet and health.

It looks like you are going to have to eat individually prepared dinners until he is willing to cook for two. You should make sure to have plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand.

DEAR AMY: “Impatient” wanted to marry the father of her children. But she may already be a wife!

Depending on where she lives, she may have common-law status already. That status would assure property and other rights of a formal marriage. But regardless, she should be making sure her “boyfriend” fully supports their children. Are they covered by his insurance? Has she talked with him about college tuition? Are they heirs in his will? -- Hallie

DEAR HALLIE: Only a few states formally recognize common law marriage, which is all the more reason to research this status and its ramifications.

Amy’s column appears seven days a week at Write to Amy Dickinson at or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

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