DEAR ABBY: My husband, “Hugh,” and I have been married 16 years. We generally have a good relationship, with few arguments. We seldom participate in activities that don’t include each other.
Three years ago, I was hired to work in the office of a manufacturing facility. The majority of the workers are men. Although Hugh denies it, I suspect he’s uncomfortable about it.
When I participate in company events for employees only, he becomes jealous and rants that it isn’t fair for spouses to be excluded. Once in a while, my co-workers and I go out for drinks after work. When I’m asked to join them, Hugh goes on the offensive, demanding to know all the details. He then calls my cell phone repeatedly until I get home.
I’m hurt that he finds me and my associates so untrustworthy. He has met the people I work with and has seen that they’re all friendly and happily married. I encourage him to do things on his own with his friends, hoping he’ll see that I trust him and will return the favor. What can I do to improve the situation? — PULLED IN TWO IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR PULLED IN TWO: Have you talked to your husband about his behavior and how it makes you feel? If not, you should. But please understand that short of quitting your job and going to work in a convent, you can’t improve the situation. The problem is your husband is insecure. Only he can fix that, which would first require his admitting it. Sad to say, he may not even be able to admit it to himself.
This is a difficult time to go job-hunting, so I don’t advise it. But in the meantime, please do not make his problem your own. Accept that he has a problem, but don’t allow it to jeopardize your work relationships.
DEAR ABBY: Is it OK to have sex when you’re a guest in someone’s home? I say no, but my husband feels the host knows we’re married so it’s not inappropriate. I think it’s rude and shows a lack of respect for the host.
Would you please settle this once and for all? When we stay with friends, we end up fighting during our vacation. — UNCOMFORTABLE IN TEXAS
DEAR UNCOMFORTABLE: For a married couple to make love when they are houseguests isn’t rude or disrespectful, provided the pictures don’t fall off the walls and there are no complaints about noise from the neighbors. However, if the idea makes you uncomfortable and unable to relax and enjoy the intimacy, then you and your husband should vacation in a hotel where you can expect to have more privacy.
DEAR ABBY: How do I stop my shoes from squeaking? I have a pair that I love, but they squeak so badly it drives me crazy. Everyone can hear my shoes when I am walking. Can you help? — NOT THE OLD SOFT SHOE
DEAR N.T.O.S.S.: According to the book “Haley’s Hints,” a way to solve your problem is to pierce the soles of your squeaky shoes four or five times with a darning needle at the ball of the foot.
If that doesn’t do the trick, “place the shoes in a solution of salt water at room temperature, just so the soles are covered. After soaking for 15 minutes, dry them off and place the soles in boiled linseed oil overnight. The next morning, remove the shoes, dry them well and your finicky footwear should be completely silenced!”
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.