DEAR ABBY: My wife, "Grace," and I have been happily married for 48 years. We're retired and enjoy an active sex life. Grace has a female friend, "Ricky," we have known more than 45 years. She's a close friend, and they often get together for lunch.

Ricky has been an out lesbian for many years and, in the past, had female companions. The problem is she repeatedly asks Grace to do things on Saturday evenings. She has also invited her to spend the night and tells her how much she loves her. My wife loves Ricky, too, but strictly as a friend and has not encouraged her in any way.

I'm not ordinarily the jealous type, but I'm convinced Ricky is in love with my wife. I have been tempted to tell her to quit making advances, but I don't want to cause the end of the friendship. I have told Grace how I feel, and she agrees. In fact, she has told me about some of the requests Ricky has made and she has rejected. I believe Ricky has crossed the line. What do you think? — CROSSED THE LINE

DEAR CROSSED THE LINE: Your wife is not responsible for the fact that her longtime friend may be in love with her. I agree that asking your wife to spend the night is inappropriate, but Ricky may want more of Grace's time because she's simply single and lonely. The person to set boundaries would be your wife, who needs to tell her friend that her Saturday nights belong to you, and as much as she loves Ricky, she's unavailable as a romantic partner.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been together nearly four years. When we got together, he was in the process of gaining custody of his daughter because his ex abused drugs. We have raised "Arlette" ever since, and her mother is out of the picture.

Arlette calls me Mom, and we have a strong bond. Her father and I have a very strained marriage. We separated several times because he was abusive. I have been giving serious thought to leaving him, but because I have no legal rights to Arlette, I stay. I lost custody of my own daughter because of his abuse, and although my older children don't care for him, they, too, have a very strong bond with his daughter.

I'm unhappy and I do not feel this marriage can be saved. I am at a loss, though, thinking about leaving his daughter. She's only 4. How do I move on with my life knowing I won't have a relationship with this child I consider my own? — LIKE MY OWN DAUGHTER IN FLORIDA

DEAR LIKE MY OWN: Because of your husband's history of abuse, my first suggestion is to contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at thehotline.org or by calling (800) 799-7233. Having lost custody of your own daughter because of his abuse, there is good reason to believe he would abuse Arlette if she is left alone with him. While you're at it, consider running this scenario past a social worker who is well versed in the ins and outs of the system.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.