DEAR AMY: I work in a small, family-owned office. An employee is having an affair with the male boss. The other boss is a female and a family member of the boss. She is unaware of the affair.
I find it harder and harder not to inform the female boss of the affair.
I feel as though I am betraying her trust by keeping this a secret.
I am tired of the special treatment the adulteress and her family are receiving.
If I complain about anything at work, I get reprimanded on petty things.
I have worked hard and don't find it fair that my hard work means nothing and her affair has gotten her special treatment.
I am a nervous wreck, angry and frustrated Monday through Friday.
Should I tell the female boss and quit my job or continue to keep my mouth shut?
— Hate My Job
DEAR HATE: Start your job search now, and don't make any sudden moves until you have an offer or are confident that you will be able to land something.
Because this is a family-run business, you may not have much recourse, even though this behavior is affecting your job performance. Your female boss might not be able to effect any change in her male relative's (or the other employee's) behavior.
However, if she is a good business partner who wants the family firm to succeed, she has a stake in how her family member behaves — not only because he is being a jerk, but because it is affecting other employees — and so she should be told.
Get your ducks in a row, plan out your encounter (including rehearsing what you are going to say), and let her know what's going on and how it is affecting your ability to do your job.
DEAR AMY: I've been in a committed relationship for three years. It's my first stable relationship compared with the whirlwind dramas I've previously been in, but I feel that his affection toward me has dwindled.
We have the same interests, enjoy our time together, and have engaging and stimulating conversations.
He was so passionate about me during the first six months, but after that "honeymoon" period ended, we became more like best friends.
I've told him numerous times how unhappy this makes me, and his response is always that it's just his personality and that he was passionate initially because the relationship was new.
I just want to be told on occasion that I look beautiful or to receive unexpected physical attention for no reason except to express his love.
Every other aspect of our relationship is positive, so I feel it would be irresponsible to end all that stability and happiness for passion, but I feel that my emotional needs are unfulfilled.
— Aching for Attention
DEAR ACHING: You have a history of drama in your relationships, and you may associate passion with drama or upheaval. They are very different.
Passion changes over the course of a long relationship because at some point people have to get out of bed and go to work, but you say you are starved for affection — and though passion may wane, in a loving relationship affection does not.
Your guy will most likely not become more passionate — and he doesn't seem able or willing to behave more affectionately toward you, even though he knows this would make you very happy.
Best friends are worth their weight in gold. But if you are going to continually miss the passion and affection you feel you need, you should probably look elsewhere to find it.
DEAR AMY: I'm responding to the letter from "Concerned Mom" about strangers touching her baby.
If the mother doesn't want her child to be touched, it is possible that the child should not yet be exposed to people in public.
Mothers who have these concerns about the immunity system of a baby need to keep their babies to themselves until they believe the babies are safe to be out.
— A Constant Reader
DEAR READER: Good advice. Strangers also should not touch babies without the mother's say-so.
Send questions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org