Dear Abby: While I was out of town, my husband, “Miles,” ran into his high school girlfriend at a party hosted by good friends of ours. She has been through a bad divorce, and Miles insists his desire to keep in touch with her is merely concern for a dear friend. Until I put a stop to it, he was calling her every night, talking with her for at least an hour at a time. He said there was nothing more to it.
I have now insisted that he call her only once a week and in my presence. He’s complying, but it distresses me to hear him enjoy the conversation so much. Miles truly cares about her and she makes him laugh. He says he loves only me and will never leave me. He’s a good man and I believe him, but …
How should I handle this? I don’t want to forbid him to talk to her, but I am feeling very insecure. Am I foolish to let their contact continue? We have been married 30 years.
Dear Threatened: Tell your husband you know he loves you, has good morals and would never leave you, but that you feel intimidated by his renewed relationship with his high school sweetheart. Tell him you know he is kindhearted, but for YOUR mental health to please consider winding down these conversations. And it would be a kindness for him to recommend a counselor to his friend to help her resolve her issues.
Dear Abby: I’m 27 and the mother of a 6-year-old boy. I kiss him on the mouth and never thought twice about it until today, when my husband told me it’s “creepy” that I do it at my son’s age.
In my family we have always kissed on the mouth, and I still kiss my mother this way. Is it “weird” or inappropriate? I didn’t think so, but now I’m concerned.
Dear “Smoochy”: Did you also kiss your father on the mouth? Different families have different customs, and if your husband spent much time around your family he should have noticed that. I don’t see anything weird or inappropriate about the way you kiss your child. If your son reaches an age where it makes him uncomfortable, I’m sure he’ll let you know.
Dear Abby: I work in customer service and have noticed that more than half the people who write in abruptly end their emails with “Please advise.”
To me, it seems rude and demanding. I feel that if a question has already been asked, there is no need to follow up with this phrase. What is the proper etiquette for using this phrase?
In New Jersey
Dear Offended: There is no rule of etiquette pertaining to the use of the phrase “please advise.” Many individuals who write to me for advice end their letters that way. It’s not offensive; it simply means the person is asking for a reply.
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.