DEAR ABBY: I am 77 years old. My wife is 68. We've been married for four years. It's a second marriage for both of us. She is a refined, good-looking woman, but she has some old-fashioned ideas. For example, she thinks a husband should support his wife completely, even if the wife has a very good income of her own.
I am very comfortable financially, but I am no multimillionaire. Her husband died and left her very well off, and although I've never counted her money, I'm sure her assets are greater than mine. The problem is that she saves her money and spends mine like it comes out of a pump. We get along fine - except when it comes to money.Please understand, I am no cheapskate, but I don't want to be a sucker either. I have children and grandchildren I would like to leave a few dollars to, but at the rate this lady is going, I won't have anything left. (She has more jewelry than Tiffany's, but she's always buying more.)
Don't you think a second wife in her circumstances should spend her own money? Rush your advice, please, because I am considering talking to a lawyer. - GOING BROKE IN FLORIDA
DEAR GOING BROKE: It's too late for a prenuptial agreement, which a man in your circumstances should have had, but it's not too late to reach some kind of agreement about an allowance - or a budget.
A woman who comes to a marriage with a considerable amount of money should not expect her husband to support her in grand style while she sits on her assets.
DEAR ABBY: I am divorced and the mother of one child. I recently took a job as manager of an apartment building in order to support myself and my little one. It doesn't pay much, but I can live in this apartment rent-free, which helps a lot. It is a nice apartment with good security, and I never could afford to live here without this arrangement.
My problem: There is a man in this building who is legally separated from his wife. He is nice-looking, polite, gentlemanly and he lives alone. I have no car, so he gives me rides to the grocery store, laundromat, etc. He is very kind and caring, but guess what? According to the tenants, the word is all over this building that this man and I are having an affair!
Abby, that is not true. Why can't people of the opposite sex be friends without sleeping together? A couple of tenants made some snide remarks about it to him, too, and I feel terrible about it. He said he couldn't care less what people say. Abby, why do people gossip? And what can I do about it? - IRATE IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR IRATE: People gossip for a variety of reasons - among them jealousy, malice and boredom. Ignore the talk and the talkers. Just because a dog barks doesn't mean you have to answer it.
Wedding bells? Wedding bills! Who pays for what and everything else you need to know if you're planning a wedding can be found in Abby's booklet, "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send your name and address plus check or money order for $2.89 ($3.39 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)