Dear Abby: I have been seeing my boyfriend for five months. He still has some of his ex-girlfriend’s lingerie in his dresser. When we first got involved, he showed it to me and asked if I wanted any. I said no thanks.
Now that I’m more invested in the relationship, I’d like him to get rid of it. He is currently out of town, traveling for a month. Would it be inappropriate for me to throw away these “trinkets” without consulting him?
Dear Setting Boundaries: Yes, I think it would be inappropriate. Although your boyfriend will probably tell you to go ahead and get rid of it if it bothers you, it would be more respectful if you clear it with him first.
Dear Abby: I was recently told by a neighbor that if he wasn’t married, he would make a pass at me. It made me feel kind of bad, especially the next day when I saw his wife.
My niece said I shouldn’t feel bad because it was a compliment and I should be glad I still attract attention at 60. My feeling is, if you think about it — it’s infidelity.
Am I wrong or too stringent in my thinking?
Dear Old-fashioned: I think what your neighbor said was less “infidelity” than “lust in his heart.” But in a sense, he did make a pass because when he said what he did, he signaled to you that he could be interested.
Cut him some slack this time and chalk it up to having been paid a compliment. But if he says it again, tell him it bothers you because you like his wife and think it’s insulting to her.
Dear Abby: My fiance, “Todd,” and I just became engaged and are starting to plan our wedding. The problem is his father is remarried to a terrible woman. Todd grew up with her, but he can’t stand her, and I feel the same way.
I gave her a chance, but she got drunk — something she does often — and insulted my mother. Obviously, my mother and Todd are my priorities.
Todd and I do not want her at our wedding because we’re afraid she’ll get drunk and make a scene, but how do we manage that? How do we make it clear that we love his dad and want him there, but his wife is not welcome?
Dear Nervous: You and Todd should talk to his father and express your concerns that his wife’s unpredictable behavior could ruin your wedding. Ask how he thinks this should be handled. He may agree to attend alone or choose to skip the wedding. He could also promise you that if his wife gets loaded and becomes disruptive, he will escort her out of there immediately. (Suggest it to him if he’s unwilling to come without her.)
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.