DEAR ABBY: My sister recently confided that her husband has about $100,000 in credit card debt. “Sis” bailed him out five years ago to the tune of $400,000, just ahead of bankruptcy.
Why she didn’t divorce him then, I don’t know. She says she doesn’t love or respect him, and he does nothing for their home or for her. On top of that, he’s emotionally abusive.
My sister has worked hard and lived frugally so she could retire. She paid off both mortgages on their house. In our community property state, he would get half her large retirement and half the property. I suggested she divorce him two years ago. She said she wanted to, but didn’t.
I’m so mad at him I want to shame him publicly on Facebook because FB is the ONLY thing he cares about besides spending money. He portrays himself on FB as a caring, compassionate guy and a true friend. Maybe his “friends” should know the truth.
What else would get through to him? He says he can build debt because she’ll always pay it off. — HAVE MY SISTER’S BACK
DEAR HAVE: I’m sorry you didn’t mention why your sister has chosen to stay with someone she doesn’t love or respect and who mistreats her. Please suggest to her that for her own protection she should make an appointment to talk with an accountant and an attorney to discuss what’s going on before her husband’s irresponsibility causes her to become indigent.
Beyond that, there is nothing you can do besides give her emotional support as you have been doing.
DEAR ABBY: My wife, “Libby’s,” dearest friend of 20 years, “Melanie,” has changed her lifestyle. Melanie and her husband have become “swingers.” Now when Libby meets her socially, all Melanie can talk about is her new lifestyle — complete with photos. Plus Melanie is very interested in meeting men when they are out together.
I don’t like what she and her husband are doing, and I don’t like my wife being exposed to swinging and meeting men. Libby says Melanie is an old friend, and she doesn’t want to end their relationship. She says I have nothing to worry about because she isn’t interested in this lifestyle.
The problem is, I still worry, and I’m not comfortable with this. Could you please advise me on what I should do? — FAITHFUL IN DALLAS
DEAR FAITHFUL: It would be interesting to know why Melanie brings Libby along when she’s looking for men. (Is she using your wife as “bait”?) It would also be interesting to know how Libby feels when men show an interest in her friend and she is sitting there like a third wheel.
Of course, the bottom line is how this makes you feel, and do you trust your wife. If this is a regular thing, I can see how it would make you uncomfortable. Consider suggesting to Libby that rather than go out for the evening with Melanie, they meet for lunch instead.
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