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Dear Abby 2/28

Man ready to shut door behind woman returning to escort job

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DEAR ABBY: I have been dating "Crystal" for about a year. For the last seven months we shared a house together. We live in a very small town, and to make extra money as well as have something to occupy her time, Crystal started her own business. It has not been going well, and to top it off, I was laid off from my job.
    Crystal decided to return to the city where she was living before I met her and take up her old job. She finally admitted to me, days after I proposed marriage, that she is a paid escort.
    To me it is morally wrong, but she sees nothing wrong with it. I agreed to let her do it -- with limitations -- meaning nothing illegal or sexual. But I still have a problem with her going out with strange men for money. I also don't like the thought of her sharing her company this way.
    Crystal insists that she's doing nothing wrong and now she is upset with me for having a problem with it. Am I wrong for feeling the way I do? I am teetering on the edge of telling her goodbye. -- TEETERING IN MONTANA
    DEAR TEETERING: Please "teeter" no more, because I am giving you the little push you need to straighten out your thinking. Your feelings are your feelings, and you are entitled to them. Most men when confronted with this question would feel just the way you do. So face the fact that you and Crystal have very different values, and let her go.
    DEAR ABBY: I have two stepchildren whom I love dearly. The older one, "Dawn," went through a difficult divorce and got bad credit because of it. Dawn is a single mother and has no major credit cards she could use in case of emergency, so I put her on one of mine that I don't use. I told her to use it as she saw fit, so she would have something to fall back on should something happen. It had a limit of $1,000.
    In the year and a half that Dawn has had the card, the limit has gone to $1,800. However, she has missed some payments, and several over-the-limit fees have been assessed. The last time, I confronted her about the situation and she blew up at me and said that I had told her to use the card "as she saw fit."
    Abby, I don't have the heart to remind Dawn that she's damaging MY credit with her poor payment history. (I can ill afford to assume the payments.) I have been denied credit because of this and have lost points off my credit score. I feel I am being punished for trying to be nice. I also hesitate bringing it up because I love my granddaughter to death, and I'm afraid Dawn won't bring her around if I mention something. What should I do? -- NERVOUS AND ANGRY
    DEAR NERVOUS AND ANGRY: You were extremely kind to have given your stepdaughter your credit card as a safety net in case of an emergency. However, your mistake was in telling her it could be used "as she saw fit" without giving her realistic guidelines, because it seems she "saw fit" to use the card irresponsibly.
    Please do not allow this mess to continue out of fear that your grandchild will be used as leverage. You have already been damaged enough, and this will continue as long as you continue to allow it. It is imperative that, for your own financial health -- not to mention your peace of mind -- that you cancel the card immediately. Sadly, if your stepdaughter does not make good on the balance, you are going to have to, and that's reality.
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