DEAR ABBY: My husband recently asked how I would feel about him buying a plane ticket for his brother "Jake" to visit us and his parents over the holidays. I told him I wouldn't like it -- not because my husband would be paying for the ticket, but because Jake is a registered sex offender.
My husband is now upset with me, saying Jake "served his time." I understand that, but the underage girl he messed around with was his niece. My daughter is 10 and starting to develop. She's also affectionate with family. I don't want her hugging Uncle Jake.
My husband and I are now not speaking. He told me that if his family isn't welcome in our house, he will start treating my family badly. Am I wrong for not wanting Jake sleeping under the same roof as my daughter? -- PROTECTIVE MOM IN THE MIDWEST
DEAR PROTECTIVE MOM: No, you're not wrong. That your husband would try to blackmail you into allowing a registered sex offender to sleep in the same house as your adolescent daughter is deplorable. Your daughter is old enough to be told that Uncle Jake has a problem with young girls, and that if he ever makes a move on her, you want to know immediately.
It isn't like Jake did time for bank robbery. Sex offenders are usually prohibited from having contact with minors. The man has a sexual impulse disorder that shouldn't be ignored, and your husband should not allow any risk that your daughter might be molested.
DEAR ABBY: My son accidentally hit my neighbor's car with his bike. We immediately went over, told him to get an estimate, and I said I would gladly pay the cost of repair. Three days later, our neighbor came over with the estimate and I wrote him a check.
As time went on, I noticed the car wasn't fixed, so one day when I saw him outside I asked him about it. He told me his wife needed some things, so he gave her the money I had given him. He said he wasn't really that concerned about the car.
Since I gave him the money to fix the car, shouldn't he have used it for that purpose? My husband says once I gave our neighbor the money, it was his to do with as he liked. I feel I did the right thing and he took the money knowing he was never going to fix the dent. What do you think? -- TOO GOOD A NEIGHBOR IN OHIO
DEAR TOO GOOD: I don't think a person can ever be "too good" a neighbor, and I agree with your husband.
DEAR ABBY: My husband of two years, "Cash," can't fall asleep or stay asleep unless the TV is on -- any show, any channel, even infomercials. I am the opposite. The noise keeps me awake, and I have heard it's not good to have a TV in the bedroom.
We compromised by getting a remote with a timer. I can give up the 60 or 90 minutes he needs to fall asleep. But he frequently wakes up in the middle of the night and turns the TV back on, or moves to the couch to watch the TV there.
I asked Cash if he'd remove the TV from our bedroom. His response was, "Well, I guess I'll be sleeping on the couch a lot." I'd love to keep my husband in bed, but I'd also like to get some rest. Advice, Abby? -- SLEEP-DEPRIVED IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR SLEEP-DEPRIVED: Yes. There must be a reason for your husband's irregular sleep habits. He should discuss with his doctor the fact that he can't sleep through the night. He may have a physical problem or a sleep disorder. In order for both of you to function in your waking lives, it's important that you are well-rested.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)