Dear Abby: Unprompted, friend runs a search, sends me dirt on the man I’m dating

Woman already knew about her boyfriend’s rocky past and felt the tipoffs crossed the line.

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DEAR ABBY: Even though I have lived in a different state for many years, I’ve remained in touch with a female friend I’ll call “Tina” from high school, mostly via text messaging. For the last 12 years, I have been in a relationship with a man who has been very good to me. We are not married and we don’t live together.

When I first met him, he told me that many years ago, when he was very young, he had been involved in several barroom brawls and had been arrested more than once. He recognized that his abuse of alcohol was at the root of his problem and decided to quit drinking. Over the years he has worked hard to turn his life around, and he hasn’t been in any sort of trouble since.

I believe everyone deserves a second chance. However, I told him that if he decided to resume drinking and/or got arrested for any reason, I would have nothing further to do with him. He hasn’t. I didn’t share that information with Tina because it really isn’t any of her business.

Unbeknownst to me, Tina decided to conduct a background search on my boyfriend. One day, out of the blue, she sent me his “mugshot” and other details from 40 years ago, asking me if that was him. I can’t believe she did that, and I feel like it was crossing the line. I can’t comprehend what she hoped to accomplish. How would you advise me to handle this situation? — SIMPLY STUNNED IN FLORIDA

DEAR STUNNED: I would advise you to lose your “friend” and keep the man with whom you have the relationship. Tina was a furlong out of bounds to send you the information without first discussing it with you. She may have done it in an attempt to “warn” you, or perhaps because she’s jealous. Whatever the reason, she owes you an apology — if you are still speaking to her, that is.

DEAR ABBY: My best friend often asks me to do errands for her, such as stop someplace and pick something up for her. It is usually close to where I live or work or on my way home. I don’t always like doing it. In fact, I resent it.

An occasional favor is fine, but this happens way too often. How do I tell her “no” when it is somewhere I have to drive right by? Once I told her I didn’t think I’d have time (the truth at that moment), and she said I could do it later, when I had the time! She walks with a cane, but this started before she had mobility issues. How can I say no? — IMPOSED UPON IN TEXAS

DEAR IMPOSED UPON: Because you now resent your “best friend’s” requests to run her errands, you will have to be honest with her. Explain that you didn’t mind doing it once in a while in the beginning, but this is happening so often it is getting to you. Then “suggest” that many markets and cleaners deliver or that she use a delivery service.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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