DEAR ABBY: My fiancee, "Monique," has put me into financial ruin. It's all because of this girl she has been hanging around with, "Tracy." Monique's friends have warned her to stay away from Tracy because she's bad news.
Abby, the two of them have been kiting money. Monique has also forged my name on my own checks, and sold my personal items -- things left to me by my grandparents. For years, people have urged me to press charges.
Monique and I have two children, 3 and 2. I spoke to a lawyer and I will have no problem getting full custody. Monique is on one year's probation and has to pay restitution because she stole from her employer. She is American; we live in Canada. With all the stuff that's happening, Monique may have to leave the country.
Monique's parents have told me I should press charges. She has abandoned our kids while I was at work. Children's Aid got involved, and I didn't know the kids had been taken from us until I got home from work. Luckily, we got them back.
Monique wasn't like this until she met Tracy. Should I press charges, or should I just say goodbye, take the kids and go my way? A mutual friend says Monique told her that if I do that, she will forget the kids, and find a new guy and have kids with him. -- STRESSED OUT IN CANADA
DEAR STRESSED OUT: I'm glad you wrote and I'm pleased to help end your ambivalence. Listen to your common sense as well as to what Monique's parents are urging you to do. Protect yourself and the kids. Press charges. Tracy is not responsible for your fiancee's behavior. Your fiancee appears to have no conscience. Jail time won't help her mend her ways, but it will slow her down and make it more difficult for her to take advantage of her next victim.
DEAR ABBY: Last week, we invited a couple for dinner this week. Two days before the party, I called to confirm the time and they said they'd be here.
On the evening of the dinner, they showed up two hours late without even a phone call. They said the husband had to work late. Neither of them offered an apology. We had tried twice to contact them before we finally decided to go ahead and eat. They seemed offended that we did.
Were we wrong to assume they weren't coming? If you haven't heard otherwise, how long should you wait for guests before eating without them? -- TIRED TO WAITING IN VIRGINIA
DEAR TIRED OF WAITING: You were not wrong to assume that your guests were no-shows and to have eaten dinner. That they failed to call and inform you that they had been delayed was rude. Thirty minutes is long enough to wait for tardy guests -- or less if there's danger the meal will be overcooked.
DEAR ABBY: My beautiful wife, "Doreen," turned 41 a couple of months ago. Since then she has had extra piercings in her ears and has taken to wearing thumb rings, toe rings and ankle bracelets. Yesterday she pierced her navel. I am embarrassed for her. We have a 13-year-old daughter who is also embarrassed for her. How do I tell Doreen she looks silly? -- NOT SO HIP IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR NOT SO HIP: Your wife's fetish brings new meaning to the term "heavy metal." It shouldn't be necessary to give her a lecture. Just walk in carrying a powerful magnet. That should send a message.
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