DEAR ABBY: I was sexually abused by my sister's boyfriend, "Teddy," three months ago. He is five years older than I am, and now I am pregnant.
I don't want to tell Teddy or my family because I am afraid of the consequences — especially because he and my sister are getting married in three months. I don't want to ruin their marriage, but I can't keep this a secret much longer. I am starting to show.
Please help. I don't know what to do because Teddy is a respectable person and I know they won't believe me if I tell the truth.
— PREGNANT SISTER
DEAR SISTER: The first thing you must do is accept the fact that "respectable" men do not have sex — coerced or otherwise — with their fiancee's sister or any other woman, for that matter. For your own sake and that of your family, you must tell your parents what happened. If they are skeptical at first, assure them that a paternity test will prove that you are telling the truth.
If the sex was forced, "respectable Teddy" is guilty of rape. Even if you were willing, depending on your age, he may have committed statutory rape. Consider this: If your sister knew about this, would she still want to marry this heel? She HAS to be told the truth so she can make an informed decision.
DEAR ABBY: When I was still working and invited someone to join my wife and me for dinner, I always assumed I would pay because I was the one who did the inviting. Now that we're retired, we would like to suggest getting together with other couples, but it can get costly paying for four people.
Saying, "Let's go Dutch," sounds tacky. Is there an acceptable way to invite friends out and let them know we should each pay our own expenses?
— ON A BUDGET IN SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR ON A BUDGET: The way this is usually handled is the couple who does the inviting pays for the dinner, and the guests reciprocate by picking up the tab for the next one. Alternatively, when the check arrives at the end of the meal, the couples, by mutual consent, split it.
Because your circumstances have changed, but the expectations may not have, the subject should be raised at the time the date is arranged by saying, "Because I'm retired now, I can't treat you the way I'd like — but we'd love to see you." If they are real friends, they'll be glad to see you, too — and the fact they are paying for their own food won't stop them.
DEAR ABBY: My wife often returns home late from work. I am not worried about where she is or what she's doing, but we have had numerous arguments about the common courtesy of calling if she knows she's going to be late.
I say if she will be more than a few minutes past the expected time, she should call or text me. She says that I know where she is, so it shouldn't be necessary. What say you, Abby?
— HAD IT IN HAWAII
DEAR HAD IT: Your wife's actions show a lack of consideration for your feelings. If she knows she will be late, she should contact you so you won't be stuck sitting around with your blood sugar levels sinking, and you can arrange to grab a snack or some dinner. And by the way, if she doesn't show up within 30 minutes of the expected time, nothing prevents you from calling her.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.