DEAR ABBY: I have been with my boyfriend, “Robert,” for 10 years. We live together, and he helps me raise my preteen daughter. Recently, Robert has decided that he is “entitled to privacy.” He has locked me out of his computer and phone and refuses to share his passwords.
Some history: Robert has cheated on me more than 20 times in the past, with an almost-encounter happening as recently as three months ago, thwarted only after I saw some text messages on his phone. Last week, I discovered that he used the search term “sex” on a website that’s notorious for facilitating random hookups. I was furious.
Robert is now using my reaction to justify locking me out of his devices. I am finally putting my foot down and telling him this is the red line for me — if he doesn’t allow me unrestricted access to his devices, I can no longer be in a relationship with him. He is still refusing, so we are now at an impasse. Am I crazy? — LIVID IN LAS VEGAS
DEAR LIVID: You are crazy if you stay in a relationship with someone who has not only cheated on you more than 20 times in the past, but is now hell-bent on continuing. You know what he is doing. You know he won’t change. Access to his passwords isn’t the answer. Enough, already!
DEAR ABBY: I’m a woman who is all for greater acceptance of LGBTQ people, but I wish strangers wouldn’t assume an intimate relationship exists when it doesn’t. On more than one occasion, I have been with a woman friend, and the nurse or proprietor has said something that implies we are “partners.” We’re not! We’re just friends assisting each other or having a meal together. It’s embarrassing to be identified as something we’re not. There’s also no comeback to correct the misidentification that wouldn’t make the situation worse. My plea is that everyone be treated courteously, without making assumptions. What do you think, Abby? — STRAIGHT, BUT NOT NARROW
DEAR STRAIGHT: I agree with your sentiments. It is presumptuous to assume that because two people of the same sex are socializing that they’re a couple. However, there is an effective response to correct someone who assumes you and your friend are a gay couple. All you have to do is smile and say three magic words, preferably in unison: “We’re just friends.” Consider it an opportunity to educate.
DEAR ABBY: My daughter went to visit her in-laws with her husband and two children. Her mother-in-law is an amazing cook. While they were having dinner, my daughter said to her, “This is so delicious, I would love to have the recipe.” Her mother-in-law replied, “My recipes are for family only.” My daughter was deeply hurt, and their relationship has never been the same. What would be the best way to handle this cutting remark and help their relationship move forward? — NOT FAMILY IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR NOT FAMILY: The best way would be for your daughter’s husband to tell his mother how hurtful her response was, and for the woman to apologize to your daughter and offer her the recipe because, like it or not, her daughter-in-law IS “family.”
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 DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.