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OPINION | DEAR ABBY: Neighbor wants to express thanks for help provided

by Abigail Van Buren | December 11, 2021 at 1:00 a.m.

Dear Abby: I went for a jog the other morning, and when I returned home I discovered I was locked out of my house because the garage door keypad wasn’t working. While waiting on my wife to send someone with a key, I fidgeted with the garage door keypad and discovered I could remove the battery. I knocked on the door of a neighbor and asked to use their cellphone and also asked if there was any chance they had a replacement battery, which they did. My neighbor invited me inside to call my wife and wave off a key delivery.

I later bought a thank-you card, a replacement battery and $20 in Amazon gift cards with the intention of gifting all three to my neighbor. My wife thinks the gift cards were unnecessary and a little “weird.”

The neighbor and their partner are in their late 30s or early 40s, seemingly well enough off. I thought a gift card was a universally accepted gift. I thought it would be a nice gesture without being too over-the-top. Was I too generous? Or is it too forward of an offering? — Saved In The Midwest

Dear Saved: Your offering wasn’t weird, too generous or over-the-top. The gratitude you were expressing was from your heart and a reflection of how desperate you felt at the time. Your wife should have stayed out of it.

Dear Abby: Forty years ago, I had an affair with a married man. When he broke up with me, I didn’t think I could live through it, but a few years later, I met and married my husband of 35 years.

Three months ago, I received a message on Face-book saying, “If this is who I think it is, how are things?” I know I never should have, but I answered. My former lover lives hundreds of miles from me, but we text almost every day. I am just realizing how narcissistic he is, and I need to end this.

My husband and I have had problems over the years, but we have raised three very successful children and have three beautiful grandkids. It was nice to hear how my ex always loved me and how we are soul mates — saying everything I wanted to hear. But now that I’ve been dragged down that rabbit hole, I need to get out and quit falling for his lies. Please help. — Muddled In Massachusetts

Dear Muddled: If this emotional fling continues, it will destroy the life you have created with your husband of 35 years. If there are issues in your marriage that made you vulnerable to your old lover, I urge you to deal with them. Please reread the first paragraph of your letter, then ghost and block this person. You owe him nothing — not even a goodbye.

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


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