DEAR ABBY: I am a licensed acupuncturist. One of my patients (also male) asked me to dinner, and since he seemed like a decent guy, I decided to go. After we finished and the $60 bill arrived, he told me he had forgotten his wallet and I needed to pay, which I did. After dinner he took me back to his house to supposedly show me some recent renovations, and within 10 minutes he tried to kiss me. Fortunately for me, the date ended well enough.
He asked me out again the next week. I figured everyone deserves a second chance, so I said yes. Well, THIS time he took me to a more expensive restaurant and — guess what? He forgot his wallet again. This time it cost me $90. After dinner we went for a walk by the water and, when he tried to give me a hug, he knocked my only pair of glasses into the river.
I don’t know if it was pre-planned or not, but because I had driven to his house, he knew I wouldn’t be able to legally drive home without my glasses. This forced me to spend the night at his house. That I am able to retell this story means I survived that night, but what do you think? Does this guy sound like a loser or what? — STUCK WITH THE BILL
DEAR STUCK: “This guy” strikes me as irresponsible or a manipulator. At the very least he should reimburse you for the glasses.
I’m not sure if it’s ethical for you to be dating a client. According to the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, the provider should not engage in sexual contact with a patient if the contact commences after the practitioner-patient relationship is established. Because you don’t trust his motives, you should not see him again socially.
DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 28 years. Over the past three years, I have survived a cancer diagnosis and a serious car accident. Earlier this year, I found out my wife has been leading a double life. The doctor says it is because she’s bipolar.
Over the past year, she has had five boyfriends, three online and two in person. None of what she posted online is repeatable as it is X-rated. It came to light after a checkup and blood tests that resulted in an STD diagnosis. Now my doctor wants to test me for HIV. HIV is permanent, no cure, but having it would destroy me.
I am still with my wife, but I have lost all respect. All I can think of is how I was betrayed and what little time I may have left. I don’t have the money to seek help. Can you recommend some way to help me through this? — BETRAYED IN THE SOUTH
DEAR BETRAYED: You have been through a lot, and I empathize with you. Have another talk with your doctor, and when you do, please allow him to test you. There have been major changes in the treatment of HIV since the 1980s, when it was an automatic death sentence. Many HIV-positive individuals now lead long, productive lives because they got tested and medicated, so please try to control your anxiety.
A final thought: If your wife refuses to get help for her mental illness, then you should consult a divorce lawyer.