DEAR ABBY: My wife of 15 years has recently begun spending a lot of time with a group of women who socialize away from their husbands. They like to meet without their husbands and party at pick-up nightclubs and swingers' bars. When I asked her about it, her response was, "It's just us girls dancing with each other and having a good time. We dance with each other at the table we're at. We never dance with any of the men who ask us." When I asked why they go to these kinds of places, she said the atmosphere and music are better there.
Abby, I object to this type of partying. We married to be together. She's now accusing me of being jealous and possessive. Am I wrong to want her to stop? I think what she's doing is dangerous. -- PLEASE STOP IN ARIZONA
DEAR PLEASE STOP: No, you're not wrong. Your wife partying regularly at swingers' bars and pick-up joints IS a threat to your marriage. If the shoe were on the other foot and you were the one out drinking and dancing while she sat at home, she'd probably feel the same way you're feeling now, unless you had both agreed on an open relationship.
Spouses who treat each other without consideration for the other's feelings usually wind up divorced, so while there is time to save your marriage, some sessions with a marriage counselor would be a good investment.
DEAR ABBY: My mom died of cancer last year at the young age of 63. (I am 30.) Not one member of my husband's mother's family (other than my MIL and FIL, whom we live with) acknowledged her death in any way. There were no phone calls, no sympathy cards, no "I'm sorry for your loss," NOTHING. My family and I were extremely hurt by their behavior. We feel that some sort of apology or explanation is in order.
Some members of my mother-in-law's family are now nearing death themselves, and I know I will be expected to go along with my husband, in-laws and their extended family to the various services "out of respect." The problem is, my respect for them no longer exists. Any advice? -- DISRESPECTED ON THE EAST COAST
DEAR DISRESPECTED: Yes. If you prefer not to attend, stay home. And if you are asked why you didn't show up, tell them the reason.
DEAR ABBY: A family with young children just moved into the house across the street. They seem like nice people, but one thing concerns me.
Day and night, their 6-year-old son rides his bike all over the street unsupervised, and darts across without looking. Most of the residents on our street drive carefully, but every so often a strange car or two will barrel through. I'm worried that the boy will get hit one of these days.
Should someone go to the parents and tell them their child isn't safe? Or is it nobody's business to scold people on how to raise their children? -- CONCERNED NEIGHBOR
DEAR CONCERNED NEIGHBOR: Go there not to scold but to welcome your new neighbors. And while you're there, warn the parents that some drivers ignore the speed limit while driving down that street, so it's important they stress to their boy the importance of looking both ways when he's on his bike.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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