Man repeatedly disregards wife’s specific complaint

Published 8:21 am Wednesday, August 2, 2023

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DEAR ABBY: I’m an older woman. My husband and I have been married eight years but were together 15 years prior to our marriage. He is a wonderful, caring man in most ways. But from time to time, he snaps extremely unflattering photos of me, sends them to everyone we know and even orders enlargements made for me.
I have a mouth condition that makes smiling painful, so unless I know a picture is being taken, I look really old and grumpy. I have asked him PLEASE not to do this because it’s humiliating when he sends them out to friends and family members. I think it’s unkind and disrespectful and have told him so, yet he persists.
I’m to the point that this has become a deal-breaker in our marriage, and he knows it. He claims he loves me and is proud of me. And yes, we have been to counseling about our relationship in general because of the many times he has humiliated me in public. But he won’t stop. How can I handle this going forward? – HUMILIATED AND HURTING

DEAR HUMILIATED: It appears your “wonderful, caring” husband has a mean streak. He’s getting his kicks by embarrassing you. One way to handle it going forward would be to ignore him when he does it. It won’t be easy, but when he realizes he can’t get the desired reaction from you, he may do it less often. Another way to deal with it would be to discuss privately with a licensed therapist whether his behavior really has become a deal-breaker. The choice is yours.
DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend lives with one of his closest friends, “Bill.” I know him well and stay at their apartment often. Over time we have grown pretty close. I listen to Bill talk about his hobbies and problems because his friends get tired of his rambling.
I’m afraid Bill has become too attached to me because of this, because he has started texting me every day, asks me to go places with him and fixates on me whenever I am over there. The last straw was when he called me in the middle of the night, crying about his ex-girlfriend.
In order to preserve his living situation and their friendship, my boyfriend doesn’t want to confront Bill until he crosses a line. I believe he has already violated my boundaries. How do I stop this elephant in the room from growing? – UNSURE IN THE SOUTH

DEAR UNSURE: I agree that more than one boundary has been violated. Because your boyfriend is unwilling to draw the line, you will have to. Start by telling Bill that you don’t want him calling in the middle of the night or as often as he does. Visit your boyfriend at his shared apartment less often. Take your time responding to Bill’s daily texts, and refuse his invitations to go anywhere. It may take a while for him to get the message, so be prepared.
DEAR ABBY: What do I do if my wife of 36 years wants to be laid to rest somewhere other than next to me in Hawaii? – WONDERING IN HAWAII

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DEAR WONDERING: Hope that you outlive her.
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