Friendship triangle leads to non-negotiables
Dear Friendless: You are trapped between two people who are behaving badly. Both are presenting non-negotiables to you.
Your friend "Tony" should not merely offer to apologize to "Becky" for slandering her, he should apologize -- whether or not his friendship with you can be revived. You should tell him, "You owe Becky an apology, and after you offer it, we'll see where we stand." Everything hinges on his sincere effort to make things right.
You should ask Becky to keep an open mind. She may not want to spend time with this guy, but she should not keep you in a stranglehold if you want to have a friendship with him.
If you are scared that Becky will break up with you about this, your fear exposes an issue: Partners should commit to working things out (sometimes arguing things out) without the threat of walking out.
Dear Amy: I was so disappointed and surprised by your response to "Dogless," the woman whose husband and sons wanted a puppy, and she did not.
In your answer, you actually suggested that if they brought a puppy home, she should leave the house for a period of time over this.
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First of all, having a dog can be great for kids. It teaches them responsibility.
Leaving the home when things aren't going the way you want is a terrible way to respond. This is not good for her marriage or her children.
A better solution would be for her to lay down some rules regarding the animal, and if the children and husband do not take responsibility, she should go on strike: Not cook dinner, not clean up after them, not drive them to soccer practice, etc.
-- Disappointed Reader