Teen daughter uncovers dad's online indiscretions

DEAR ABBY: My 14-year-old daughter caught her father, my husband, emailing and texting other women. He has been doing it for months.

He says he went on dating sites because he was unhappy in our marriage and needed attention and to feel desirable. He claims he only emailed and texted these women discussing relationship troubles, no sex talk.

I'm furious he was so careless that our daughter found the emails (in one he stated his sex drive was very high and asked how her sex drive was). I am devastated that he would do this to our family. He says he didn't think it was cheating because it was only online and sex wasn't discussed. Please advise.

- Furious in the South

DEAR FURIOUS: Your husband isn't being honest. At the very least there WAS "sex talk" as soon as he used that three-letter word in his emails/texts to the women on the dating sites. You two are overdue for a visit to a marriage and family therapist to determine if the damage your husband has done to his relationship with you and his daughter can be repaired.

Should he help ex?

DEAR ABBY: My ex-wife and I were together for five years (married for two). While she was with me I supported her financially and put her through college. She left me a year ago. I was the one who filed for divorce.

After she left, I gave her half the money in my savings account to help her while she was trying to land on her feet. She has found a job now, but struggles to pay bills.

Recently, she called and asked me to "lend" her money to help with her power bill. I refused. While I understand that she's no longer my financial responsibility, I still feel compelled to help her. What can I do to prevent her from putting me in an awkward situation (I have since moved on to a new relationship) without having to be a complete jerk?

- Nice guy in Texas

DEAR NICE GUY: As you accurately put it, your ex-wife is no longer your responsibility. After she walked out on you, you did the right thing in filing for divorce. You are acting like you feel guilty for doing so. By paying for her education and enabling her to support herself, you were more than generous. The surest way to prevent yourself from being hit on for money would be to respond with a firm and final NO.

Sorry, no souvenirs

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have only recently recovered financially from the economy crashing. We lost our car, our home and filed bankruptcy. Thankfully, we now have some savings and no debt other than our new home.

It has been 10 years since we had a real vacation, so we are planning a cruise. My problem is I mentioned it to some friends and family members. Four of them have now asked us to bring back souvenirs for them. I feel it's presumptuous. I don't want to spend my vacation running around buying other people stuff.

Am I being overly sensitive or are they being impolite?

- Frustrated in the USA

DEAR FRUSTRATED: You are not overly sensitive. Tell those folks that your excursion schedule will be tight and you won't have time to do much shopping - even for yourselves. It's the truth, I'll bet. P.S. And when you return, be discreet about flashing any souvenirs you pick up for yourselves along the way!