DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for 16 years. His ex was supposed to pay child support, but didn't. He worked in his career for only one year after we married and since then has held menial jobs, which have kept his future retirement intact. I have provided him and his children a home for which he has never made a mortgage payment or taxes, utilities, clothes, etc. His children have never lacked for anything.
His ex now wants to resolve the back child support issue by giving the settlement amount of money to the kids. I don't feel they should get it because it is owed to him. I'd like to see him use it to pay off some of his credit card bills, which are high.
She has told the kids what she is offering and plans to guilt him into giving it to them. He doesn't have to settle that way if he chooses. He doesn't know that I saw the letter, and he's lying about the amount she's willing to pay. What should I do? -- PRESENT MRS.
DEAR PRESENT MRS.: After having supported your husband and his children all these years, the least you are owed is honesty. What you should do is discuss this with an attorney of your own immediately and, while you are at it, raise the subject of what is and is not considered community property in your state. You should also determine to what extent you might be responsible for paying those high credit card balances should he renege. Once you have the answers, you will be better able to determine how to handle this.Read more in: Family & Parenting | Money | Work & School
DEAR ABBY: Ten years ago, I was a guest at the home of my friend "Roger" for a five-day holiday celebration. We've shared this event with family and friends for years. I was the only non-family member out of the five adults and two teenagers staying at his home. The guest room assigned to me shared Roger's master bathroom, which I used.
During my visit, Roger's prescription medicine came up missing. I heard about it from a mutual friend a day after I returned home. This friend told me Roger was adamant that I took his medication and there was no need to question anyone else.
Roger would not accept my calls. To add insult to injury, the so-called mutual friend agrees with Roger that I was the culprit! So, I have lost two friends. How do I let go and move on? Time hasn't healed these wounds. -- ACCUSED IN OHIO
DEAR ACCUSED: Roger should have confronted you when his medication turned up missing. That he accused you behind your back to someone makes me wonder how good a friend he really was. As to the mutual friend who contacted you the next day, be grateful.
It is my experience that we can do what we set our minds to. Start celebrating this holiday by involving yourself in travel or other activities you enjoy, and spend time with other people so you won't be alone.Read more in: Holidays & Celebrations | Friends & Neighbors
To receive a collection of Abby's most memorable -- and most frequently requested -- poems and essays, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price.