Dear Abby: During the past three years, my husband and I managed to save about $45,000 for a down payment on the purchase of a new home. (We each put in about half.) Early last month, I asked my husband if he liked one house we had just seen, and he confessed that he had taken all the money we had saved and put it into a struggling business he has had for 12 years and which I helped him run on weekends. I am devastated!

It’s not just the money, which was for our future. The plan was to purchase an affordable home and pay it off quickly. But he lied to me, strung me along and stole from me, because half of that money was mine. My trust in him and our marriage is broken. What are your thoughts?

– Crushed in Palm Harbor, Fla.

Dear Crushed: Because the basis of any successful partnership is trust, I think you have some serious thinking to do. And if you decide to remain married to your husband, you should have access to all documents connected to both your finances in the future.

Don’t extort an engagement

Dear Abby: I am a strong and independent 18-year-old girl. I have been with my boyfriend, “Cash,” for four years, and he has been an ever-present rock in my life. His 21st birthday is soon, and I’m afraid it may alter our relationship because of things he will be able to do, such as drinking. I want some form of commitment from him before his birthday, so I can be sure he’s as serious about our relationship as I am.

Cash says he doesn’t want to make a commitment now because he wants time to be young and stupid. I’m not asking for marriage now, but a long engagement would prove his devotion to me. Isn’t this a reasonable expectation? If it is, how do I tell him?

– Wants Commitment in Nebraska

Dear Wants: For a young woman who is strong and independent, you appear to be somewhat clingy and needy. Commitments such as the kind you’re looking for must be made voluntarily, not as a result of arm-twisting. My advice is to loosen up, or you stand a good chance of driving him away.