DEAR ABBY: My best friend "Jenny's" husband died four years ago. They had been married 28 years, and she has grieved hard for him. She has been looking for a relationship because she wants a man in her life.
Three months ago, she ran into a married man she knew through her former job. (I'll call him "George.") They were casual acquaintances, but when George learned she was a widow he immediately asked for her phone number. He called the next day, they talked, he visited her at her home, and they had unprotected sex. They now see each other once or twice a week and have sex. That's all they do. Jenny says she's in love with him. She talks about him constantly and says she's very happy.
My husband and I were at a club the other night and saw George in the company of another woman. I haven't told Jenny because she doesn't want to be told if her man is cheating on her. She says that what she doesn't know won't hurt her. I disagree. If he's having unprotected sex with her, it's probably the same with the other woman. George appears to be a player and Jenny has blinders on. I'm worried about her.
I don't want to ruin our friendship. We love each other like sisters. But I hate seeing her used like this. What should I do? My husband says leave it alone — she'll find out anyway.
— DISMAYED IN DALLAS
DEAR DISMAYED: When someone tells you she doesn't want to know if her man is cheating on her and what she doesn't know won't hurt her, take it from me, she already knows he probably is. And by the way, George isn't "her" man — he is his wife's man. How do you know he wasn't with his wife that night at the club?
You may love Jenny like a sister, but you can't save her. Your husband is right. Leave it alone.
DEAR ABBY: I work for a small company where I'm one of 12 employees under one manager. My boss, "Debbie," is having problems at home. Almost daily, she brings her not-so-sunny outlook to the office and proceeds to drag everyone else down.
Any time a colleague has something positive to share, Debbie finds a way to negate it. If someone mentions it's nice weather, she'll complain about how much yard work she needs to do and the disastrous effects of global warming. She even complained that a pregnant co-worker's impending maternity leave will be "inconvenient."
The woman thrives on negativity, chaos and stress. She even complains about happy times of the year like summer vacations and holidays because we tend to be busier. (Isn't that a good thing considering the economic climate?)
Our office is small, so there's no escaping her. If she's not complaining to us, she's telling the same sob stories to a client on the phone. What can my co-workers and I do to keep from being dragged down with her?
— WORKING FOR "DEBBIE DOWNER INC."
DEAR WORKING: You and your co-workers should talk to your employer as a group because "Debbie's" behavior is neither professional nor conducive to a healthy working environment. Your boss should also be told that she is sharing her "sob stories" with clients, because it could cost him business.
Debbie may or may not need psychological counseling, but she definitely needs to be "counseled" about leaving her personal problems at the door when she enters the work environment. And the person to stress that to her is HER boss.
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.