DEAR AMY: My husband and his business partner, "Greg," had a friendly parting of the ways a little more than a year ago. We live in a small community, so we see Greg and his wife, "Pat," fairly often.
Last week, my husband learned that Greg had backstabbed him in a business deal. Greg had absolutely nothing to gain financially from this business deal, but he did it anyway.
I am quite upset about this because I really thought we were friends with Greg and Pat.
When I ran into Pat yesterday, I did not engage in our usual "Hi, how are you?" conversation.
Afterward, I received an e-mail from her, saying that she sensed I was angry but did not understand what has happened to change our friendship. She said she would love to talk and apologized if she had done anything to hurt me.
Should I tell her the truth or let the whole thing drop? I could easily reply, "Oh, I'm so sorry, but I was in a hurry, blah, blah, blah."
I don't think my husband would want me to discuss the business situation with her. I'm certain that he does not want to be "friends" with them anymore.
What should I do?
DEAR UNSURE: At this early stage, it's not necessary to slam the door on your friendship with Pat. You should respond to her e-mail and offer a boilerplate, nonspecific apology for your rudeness. You should not discuss your husband's business dealings.
Talk with your husband and clarify his attitude toward this couple. Ask him if he would be comfortable if you continued to maintain a cordial relationship with Pat.
If your personal relationship with Pat is completely intertwined in the business relationship between your spouses, then you should respect your husband's sensitivities.
DEAR AMY: I am 18 years old and have been dating my boyfriend for six months. We get along well, but I am often agitated by his behavior when we go out on dates.
Perhaps I am selfish or adhere to old-fashioned dating rules, but I always figured that the boyfriend usually pays for the date. I have paid for the vast majority of our dates.
The only time he seems willing to treat is when we go to school dances. I usually don't complain, but I am unemployed and college-bound, and he is boring a hole in my pocket!
He mentioned going out this weekend, but I told him I needed to save my money. He then said he preferred to just do something free so I would not have to pay!
Should I talk about this or just suck it up and keep paying?
— Gracious Girlfriend
DEAR GRACIOUS: You are clinging to somewhat antiquated views of dating. In a union between two equals, each person should figure out how to host the other on a basically equivalent basis.
One way to work this out is to decide that whoever invites the other person out should treat. If you mutually decide to go out, you should each pay your own way.
Unless your boyfriend is congenitally stingy, it sounds as if he might be strapped for cash. I like his choice to spend time with you in a low-cost or no-cost way. You should take his cue and do the same.
If you are going to be in a loving and honest relationship, talking about this very basic issue should be easy.
DEAR AMY: "Daughter With Dilemma" didn't feel her mother should have to pay off the debt presented by her late father's girlfriend after his death.
You said the mother should help where she can because the father was party to the debt creation. I do not agree!
The father left of his own volition, moved in with another woman, racked up a debt with her but wisely left a small insurance policy to his wife to cover his final costs and to buy a decent used car.
I don't think the mother has any obligation to pay off the girlfriend's debts.
The mother didn't create the debt!
DEAR DISAGREE: Many readers disagreed with my recommendation that some of this money should go to retiring the couple's debt. I stand corrected.
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