DEAR ABBY: My father, who is a deacon at his church, has cancer. I have pitched in to help Mom take him to treatments out of town. Each time he has an outpatient treatment, the pastor of his church shows up and stays with us the entire time — sometimes all day long.
Abby, he follows me around like a lost puppy, and it is clear that he's attracted to me — even referring to me once as his "girlfriend." I am repulsed by this reference as I am happily married to a wonderful man. This man is married, too.
I want to be there for Dad during his treatments, but I don't want to make small talk with someone who is beginning to creep me out. How do I tell him to stay away without making a huge scene?
— MAKES MY SKIN CRAWL
DEAR MAKES: Ask your father whom he would like to have with him when he's getting his treatments — you or his pastor. Then explain exactly why. If your father feels he needs the pastor's support during this difficult time, then the pastor can transport him and your mother to the treatment center. If your parents would rather have you there, then you, they or all of you together can inform the love-struck pastor that his services are appreciated but unnecessary.
DEAR ABBY: I recently received my federal tax return refund and deposited the check into my personal savings account. Abby, that check is in my name only because I get that money for my daughter from a previous marriage. I have always put the refund into my own account.
When my husband discovered that I hadn't deposited the check into the joint account, he became furious. He behaved like a child throwing a tantrum, ranting and raving about not having access to the money without my consent.
My husband is now threatening to sell the house if I don't give in to his demand. My husband has his own personal and business accounts. Should I give in and put the funds into our joint account or stand firm and let him play out his threats?
— DISCONCERTED IN DENVER
DEAR DISCONCERTED: Do not move the money without more information. Something has happened in your husband's life, and he has hidden it from you. Whether it is business-related or personal, I can't say. Under no circumstances must you give in to blackmail. You deserve to know the truth so you can deal with it as a couple. If your husband and his CPA are not forthcoming, then you should consult a lawyer.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been invited to two weddings on the same day. Both families are close to us, but they do not know each other. My son is in one of the weddings. One is in town; the other is two hours away.
We knew about these weddings prior to being invited, but one of the couples changed their date. We thought we could split up for the day — I would go to one and my husband would go to the other. We don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. I am stumped. Abby, what are your thoughts?
— WEDDING WOES IN ILLINOIS
DEAR WOES: Thanks for asking. I think you and your husband should attend the wedding of the couple who invited you first. Because one couple changed their wedding date and created a conflict, you have a perfectly acceptable reason for being unable to attend.
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.