Dear Annie: My husband and I are in our 60s. Recently, he hugged a new neighbor and kissed her on the cheek. She is our age and divorced. We don't know her well at all. I was shocked, embarrassed and angry.
I commented later, asking my husband if he hugged and kissed any of the other women (all married) in our group of friends. He thinks I'm being ridiculous. But he has done similar things times in the past whenever there's a new female around. It's like he can't help it. He becomes completely obsessed with the "new girl."
We've been married a long time. I told him he should always act like a married man and that his flirtatious behavior makes me feel terrible and I don't want to experience it anymore. I'm in shape and attractive. I've thought about doing something to make my husband jealous to see how he reacts. Right now, I'm fed up and considering a divorce so I can enjoy the rest of my life. What's the deal? — Fed Up in Music City
Dear Fed Up: It sounds like your husband is feeling his age and finds that something "new" makes him feel young and frisky again. This is only threatening to your marriage if he acts on these impulses with more than hugs and cheek kisses, and the woman reacts with equal interest. The next step is entirely up to you.
You cannot force your husband to change unless he recognizes the need and is willing. So, knowing that these flirtations go no further, can you tolerate them? Is this the only sore spot in your marriage? Do the pros outweigh the cons? Would you be willing to get counseling (with or without him) to work on the issue? Do you really want to leave him over this? Often, the decisions we make when we are angry or frustrated turn out to be regretted. Please give the situation a great deal of thought before you act, and consider your options carefully.
Dear Annie: I feel I must give "Carol in Columbus, Oh.," one more word of wisdom to add to your good advice.
She said she wanted to start up her own small business, but her husband was very controlling when it came to money. Please tell her to make sure she sees a lawyer right from the start. She needs to be certain that this new venture she is starting with her own money, credit, sweat and tears remains her own property. There are ways to separate it from the controlling husband.
I know, because I started my own business seven years ago. My husband would not sign anything to help me in my new venture, so I did it all myself with my meager savings and a small gift from my mom. Now that the business is a big success he calls it "ours" and claims half of everything, even though he has not contributed a day of work or a dollar of investment. Carol should be smarter. — Been There Done That
Dear Been There: Whenever starting a business, legal advice is always a good idea. Thanks for the additional suggestion.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2015. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.