DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 35 years. We have one daughter. My husband has this “thing” about grabbing other women’s behinds. He hugs them and then goes in for a grab. It bothers me so much. It hurts my feelings and I have told him so, but he still does it.
Men have told me they don’t want him touching their wives this way. Others have said it’s disrespectful to me. He says he will try to stop doing it. Try? That doesn’t set well with me.
What do you think about this? Am I overreacting? After all these years, I just don’t know what to think. — HANDS OFF IN ROCHESTER, N.Y.
DEAR HANDS OFF: I agree that pinching other women’s bottoms is disrespectful (unless you’re in Italy, where it’s the norm). It appears you have spent 35 years married to an unrepentant lecher. I’d think that by now he would have trouble hugging any woman twice if she saw him with arms outstretched.
Because you can’t convince your husband to change his ways, try this: When a man complains about your husband’s misbehavior, tell him he should deliver that message directly to your spouse. Perhaps that will get the point across.
DEAR ABBY: I recently married a wonderful man, and I like my in-laws very much. They’re nice, welcoming people and we get along well. There’s just one problem: They are the biggest enablers I have ever met!
With my husband it isn’t a big deal because he’s very self-sufficient. On the other hand, his 30-year-old brother has lived with them for three years. He is jobless and has a drinking problem. His parents don’t encourage him to look for work. They give him an allowance, pay all his court costs and drive him around because he got a DUI. They even pay his cellphone bill.
What is my place in all of this? Should I say anything? My fear is that when my husband’s parents die, his brother will become our problem. — LOOKING AHEAD IN COLORADO
DEAR LOOKING AHEAD: Don’t say anything to your husband’s parents. The pattern they are following is one that was set long ago, and nothing you can say will change it. It may, however, cause serious hard feelings.
The person you should talk to is your husband, so that well in advance of his parents’ demise, you will be in agreement about his brother finally taking responsibility for himself or suffering the consequences of his actions.
DEAR ABBY: I love my co-workers, but several of them have an aggravating habit of walking into my office, uninvited, while I’m eating lunch at my desk. They then proceed to tell me their latest news, joke or war story.
Abby, those of us who eat at our desks do it so we can keep working and be ready to respond to work-related contacts as they come in, not to socialize. Besides, isn’t it just as rude to interrupt someone while they’re eating as it is while they’re talking? I wish my beloved co-workers would save it for the water cooler. — “SANDWICHED” IN SAN DIEGO
DEAR SANDWICHED: I don’t think it’s rude. But because you do, it’s up to you to tell your well-meaning co-workers that when you’re working at your desk, you’d prefer not to be interrupted because it breaks your concentration. If you speak up nicely, I’m sure they won’t love you any less, and then you will love them even more.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.