Dear Amy: Last summer my niece come to stay with me. She was 18.
I could tell that one of my adult friends, "Stan," was attracted to her, so I asked him not to have sex with her.
A few months later, my niece told me that Stan had sex with her and that she was uncomfortable with it. She asked me not to mention it to him. Finally, she told me that she had worked it out and that they had stopped.
I was annoyed with Stan because I had specifically asked him not to do this. He said it was unfair of me to ask him, since she was not a minor.
I told him it would have been better if he had spoken to me about it instead of me having to find out about it from my niece, who is upset. It has really affected my relationship with "Stan." He says if he had to do it over again, he would do the same.
Amy says: Your tone conveys a sense of ownership, rather than concern, regarding this teenager.
You are not your niece's sexual gatekeeper. On the other hand, you cast your friend as a predator, and your concern obviously has been well placed. But shouldn't you have talked to your niece about this in advance, instead of wasting your breath on him?
Your attention should be focused on your niece. She is obviously (and understandably) confused. Is she OK? Is this OK? She might not know, and rather than dictating to her, you should be as nonjudgmental as possible.
Talk to her about consent. She has the right to decide what she wants to do, sexually. If she doesn't consent, her choice must be respected, and if she didn't consent, she has the right to go to the police.
In terms of possibly repairing your relationship with "Stan," I can't imagine why you would want to. Even if his behavior wasn't illegal, unethical or even any of your business — if you don't like hanging out with an unrepentant horn dog, then there is no reason to maintain the friendship.
Friend has wandering hands
Dear Amy: My friend and her family help me out with projects around my house.
Recently her husband has developed "wandering hands."
I give everyone a hug and thank them before they leave, and he has started grabbing my backside when I hug him. It makes me angry and uncomfortable. I've told him numerous times to stop and have threatened to tell his wife.
He says I won't. It's a sticky situation, as his wife is ill and I can't imagine adding more to her already full plate. I'm also afraid she won't believe me and that it will be the end of our friendship.
I've never given him reason to believe that I'm even remotely interested in him. How do I stop this unwelcome behavior?
Amy says: Hire someone else to help around the house. Keep your distance from this man. If he does this again, call him out immediately and in front of others.
Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.