Former paramour wants to live next door

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Amy Dickinson, Ask Amy Ask Amy

Amy Dickinson is a general advice columnist.

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DEAR AMY: I was involved with a married man for more than 15 years. He was going to leave his wife, but it never happened. We had so much in common. After the affair, we remained good friends. We have friends in common and communicate by cellphone. He stops by my house regularly. Recently, he told me that he and his wife were going to downsize. There are a lot of places he could build his "retirement home," but he tells me it will be on property adjacent to me! What kind of man would do this? His wife has no idea about the extent of my relationship with her husband. Friends who knew about our relationship have said he should have picked another location. They think he is being self-centered and inconsiderate of my feelings. I am still reeling. Frustrated Former


DEAR FRUSTRATED:You claim that after your sexual affair ended, you maintained a long-term friendship with this man. I suspect your former flame imagines he can continue to be your friend, only now from next door. If you don't want him to build a house next to you, it would be a good idea to stop discussing this with mutual friends and start discussing this with him. He doesn't sound like someone who has much respect for boundaries, but you should do your best to draw them now.

DEAR AMY: I assist a mildly disabled woman with her financial affairs. In return, she insists on giving me food that she has cooked. She is a dreadful cook! My husband and I have even gotten sick from some of her "gifts." I also hate to see her using her limited funds to buy ingredients. How can I stop her without hurting her feelings?

--Grateful but Queasy


DEAR GRATEFUL: You can say, "You are so nice to cook for us. You know what we'd really love? Chocolate chip cookies. Can you make those? The dough is available in no-fail, pre-mixed versions. Direct her toward this.