Amy: Ex-lover wants to buy land next door

  • Article by: AMY DICKINSON
  • October 19, 2012 - 1:38 PM

Dear Amy: I was involved with a married man for more than 15 years. He was going to leave his wife to be with me, but it never happened. I was naive and thought he was serious about our relationship because we saw each other morning, noon and night. We had so much in common and enjoyed every minute we were together.

After the affair ended, we remained good friends. We still have friends in common and communicate by cellphone. He stops by my house on a regular basis. Recently, he told me that he and his wife were going to downsize to a smaller house. He owns a lot of land and 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 something like that? His wife doesn't like me, but she has no idea about the extent of my relationship with her husband. My neighbors and friends who knew about our relationship have said that he should have picked another location. They think that he is being self-centered and inconsiderate of my feelings.

I am still reeling from this. What do you imagine he is thinking?

Amy says: You claim that after your sexual affair ended you maintained a long-term friendship with this man, entertaining him in your home and talking frequently on the phone.

I suspect your former flame imagines that 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.

'Gift' of bad cooking

Dear Amy: I assist a mildly disabled woman with her financial affairs and a few other things. I'm happy to do it. In return, she insists on giving me food that she has cooked. Amy, 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 for this food. How can I stop her without hurting her feelings? Throwing the food away seems wasteful, and we wouldn't dare inflict it on someone else.

Amy says: You might be able to direct your friend's giving by steering her toward something she can make that you can also stomach. 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? We'd love to keep some in our freezer."

The dough is available in no-fail, pre-mixed versions. You might be able to direct her toward this.

Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at

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