My husband cannot be around a female without putting his hands on her shoulder or back. He "has" to touch. I'm not jealous, but embarrassed when I see women cringing and the expression on their faces sometimes. I keep hoping one of them will confront him about it. It's getting worse the older he gets, especially with younger women.
Do not suggest talking to him. He is never wrong and becomes livid when confronted. He reads your column, so please, Abby, give me some advice.
- Tired of Being Embarrassed
DEAR TIRED: I assume your husband does this only with unaccompanied young females, because if he did it with women who had an escort, their date or their husband would straighten him out. Because you can see the women are uncomfortable, talk privately with them and suggest they speak up and tell him not to do it again.
Connecting with son, not his abusive wife
DEAR ABBY: My divorced son remarried a short time ago. His new wife seems to have no boundaries and no filters. If anything comes up that displeases her, she becomes verbally aggressive and in-your-face. (She has been fired numerous times because of it.) I have been on the receiving end several times, publicly. My son looks the other way, and if pressed, he supports her.
How can I maintain a relationship with my son, whom I love, and not expose myself to this woman's abuse? (He no longer receives invitations to the family dinners his sister hosts, and my son's adult children actively avoid her.)
- Battered Mother-in-Law
DEAR BATTERED: You do not have to tolerate being verbally abused. Because your son's wife "has no filters," try to see him separately - perhaps for lunch dates - if possible. If he is so much under her control that he refuses, you may have to accept that she has managed to isolate him from family.
Tell him that you love him and that your heart and your home are always open to him. Then point out that you are not the only family member who feels this way, but for the sake of your mental health, you can no longer tolerate her abuse.
by the age question
DEAR ABBY: During a recent cross-country tour of Italy, I was asked my age by five different people in the group. My being polite - and evasive - didn't deter them. Please inform your readers that some people find it offensive to be asked that question.
- Ageless in Arkansas