Firefighter’s wife alarmed by man’s behavior at party

Published 8:21 am Wednesday, April 5, 2023

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Dear Abby: Last night I went to a party where my husband introduced me to all of his co-workers except for one young female who kept hanging out beside him. She’s about 25 years younger than he is, and he’s her boss.
I thought it was odd that he didn’t introduce me. I finally introduced myself because it felt so awkward. He often talks about her (affectionately, in my opinion) and what a hard worker she is, plus that her mother is going through cancer treatment so he feels bad for her.
Abby, my husband has worked with this young woman’s father for more than 25 years and has always talked about how much he dislikes him. He says she’s the “polar opposite” of her dad. These people are firefighters, and my husband is their battalion chief.
Our marriage has suffered because of his 25 years of alcoholism, and although he’s no longer drinking, the effect on me continues. I have learned to pick my battles because he will deny anything that I ask or change a story so I seem “crazy.” My question is, should I ask my husband why he didn’t introduce me? The whole situation didn’t feel right. – UNCOMFORTABLE IN THE WEST

DEAR UNCOMFORTABLE: Sure. You have the right to ask your husband anything you wish. Whether you can get an honest answer from someone who regularly gaslights you is another question entirely. After he denies it, tell your husband how glad you are to know that nothing is going on because, unlike years ago, sexual impropriety between a boss and a subordinate could cost both parties their careers. Then, to ensure that you haven’t been exposed to an STD, make an appointment with your doctor to be tested.
DEAR ABBY: Every year, my wife makes a photo book of the family and sends it to everyone. This year, she included a picture taken during a nephew’s birthday party. In it, my father is wearing a politically charged T-shirt, except she photoshopped the offending (to us) message out. When I asked her to not do that, but instead to remove the entire photo, she refused. She said there were no other good photos from the party, so her only option was to remove the message on the shirt.
I’m opposed because my father will be angry when he realizes his shirt has been altered in the photo. He will then bring it up at every opportunity and berate me, my wife and even my mother about how terrible it was to do that, and for us not to bother ever sending him another photo book again, despite my mother looking forward to it every year. What is your advice for us? – OUT OF FOCUS IN FLORIDA

DEAR OUT OF FOCUS: It is commonplace for images to be blurred in the media out of concern that they might be offensive, or seem to promote a product. I have to wonder why your father would wear a T-shirt with a message on it that he knew would offend the people around him. He does not have the right to censor what mail your mother can receive. Because your wife created the book, she has the right to determine its contents. She should send it to her MOTHER-IN-LAW ONLY and advise her not to show it to Dad.
DEAR READERS: At sundown, the first night of Passover begins. This major Jewish holiday celebrates the most momentous event in Jewish history – the liberation of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. Happy Passover to my readers who observe this important holiday. – LOVE, ABBY
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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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