DEAR ABBY — My husband can't 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 cringe 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 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.
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
DEAR AGELESS — I agree that not everyone wants to discuss their age. Perhaps the questioners did not realize they were being rude. However, if you indicated that you didn't want to answer and your fellow travelers persisted, you would have had every right to end the conversation by saying, "I don't discuss my age. Period!"
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 family dinners his sister hosts, and my son's adult children actively avoid her.)
DEAR BATTERED — You don't 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 you love him, and your heart and 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.
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