May 30, 2024
Plus: This false accusation ended our friendship.

DEAR ABBY: My husband’s best friend, “Kevin,” lost his wife three years ago. He’s currently in a relationship with his niece (his deceased brother’s daughter).

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Kevin is in his 60s; she’s in her 50s. We find this disgusting and do not condone it.

They are both from Portugal. Is this acceptable in other countries?

We have tried to discuss it with him; he said he doesn’t care what we think.

Kevin tries to plan things for all of us as couples, and we don’t want to be in their company. Am I wrong?

I have known his niece for several years, and I don’t want to be unkind, but I just cannot be around them. His wonderful wife is turning over in her grave.


DEAR SCANDALIZED: This type of incestuous relationship is not specifically prohibited under Portuguese law, nor is it prohibited in the state of New Jersey.

If you don’t wish to socialize with this couple, you are not compelled to do it. Your husband can do it without you if he wishes.

DEAR ABBY: A childhood friend generously invited me to stay at his home for a visit. We had a great time.

A few days after I left, he texted me that something expensive was missing from his home and asked if I knew anything about it. I told him I was sorry to hear the bad news and I don’t know what happened.

He has now blocked me on all forms of communication. I suppose he thinks I had something to do with the missing item.

I wonder if I could have handled the situation differently. Should I have perhaps offered to compensate him for at least part of the value of the missing item despite not being responsible for its disappearance?

I don’t want to appear to admit fault, but I’m sad that our friendship has apparently ended over this.


DEAR INNOCENT: If you offer to compensate your host, it will look like an admission of guilt. Don’t do it.

If you feel you must say anything at this point, write the person a letter expressing that not only are you sorry he is missing the item in question, but also that its disappearance has ended what was, to you, a treasured friendship. Period.

DEAR ABBY: My husband is a gun owner. I am not.

My mother sometimes stays over and sleeps in his office, which doubles as a guest room. My husband tells me before my mother goes into the room to sleep that I should make sure the gun is safely put away, in case she snoops around and finds it and an accident happens.

I told him that is his responsibility as a gun owner, not mine. I also told him my mother won’t snoop in his workstation.

He continues to tell me to check it “just in case,” and I repeat that it’s not my responsibility.

Who’s responsible to check if the gun is properly put away, my husband or me?


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DEAR N.M.T.: You are both responsible to ensure the safety of your guests.

Your husband’s gun should be safely locked in a gun case to prevent anyone from shooting themself in the foot (or you or your husband if a bullet should accidentally go through a wall).

Because your husband shirks his responsibility, in order to protect your mother, you should do it.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.