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by Abigail Van Buren

Old Friend's New Lifestyle Alters Time Spent Together

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.