Avoid be­ing left alone with vul­gar man

Albany Times Union - Sunday - - ADVICE - JU­DITH MARTIN MISS Man­ners ▶ dearmiss­man­ners@gmail.com.

DEAR MISS MAN­NERS: Cir­cum­stances have placed me in so­cial cir­cles with a cou­ple I have known many years. The wife was my true love from high school. She chose an­other to wed, and I have al­ways held my tongue and in no way have in­ter­fered, or re­vealed the pri­vate hurt the loss of her af­fec­tion once caused me.

We some­times meet at group din­ners and par­ties. When­ever I am alone with her hus­band, my old ri­val, he rubs it in that she shares a mar­riage bed with him and not me. He ex­presses this crudely, in ways that would out­rage his wife and all of our mu­tual friends.

What should I do? If I re­veal his vul­gar­i­ties, he would deny them. If I did some­thing like record them, ev­ery­one would think me ugly-minded. He’s been do­ing this a long time now. What is the po­lite thing for me to do?

GEN­TLE READER: Avoid be­ing alone in his com­pany. If you can­not and he con­tin­ues, ex­cuse your­self say­ing, “For­give me. I am sure that our re­spec­tive wives would highly dis­ap­prove of this con­ver­sa­tion. You will un­der­stand if I take my leave and spare them.” This gives you credit for threat­en­ing him, with­out ac­tu­ally do­ing so.

DEAR MISS MAN­NERS: My hus­band re­cently threw me a sur­prise 40th birth­day party at a lo­cal estab­lish­ment we fre­quent. Sev­eral friends were in at­ten­dance and had braved bad driv­ing con­di­tions to share in the 9 p.m. cel­e­bra­tion.

The party was a com­plete sur­prise and I had an un­for­get­table time. I would like to be able to say it was an ab­so­lute suc­cess.

How­ever, the de­light I was still bask­ing in the fol­low­ing day was cut short when I talked to my mom. My hus­band had not in­vited my par­ents be­cause he did not think they would at­tend, due to the party not start­ing un­til later. In ad­di­tion, no other fam­ily were in at­ten­dance, and the in­vi­ta­tion was cre­ated via so­cial me­dia, which my par­ents are not part of.

My par­ents are very hurt, feel slighted by my hus­band and said it should have been up to them to de­cide if 9 p.m. and poor road con­di­tions were enough to keep them home.

Un­til now, my par­ents and hus­band had a lov­ing re­la­tion­ship. My hus­band re­al­ized his er­ror and took it upon him­self to con­tact my par­ents to ex­tend a sin­cere apol­ogy, but my mom is one to hold grudges. I am sad­dened to see my par­ents so up­set and feel like I am caught in the mid­dle. How do we move for­ward?

GEN­TLE READER: Grov­el­ing. Or rather, ask your hus­band to grovel. Have him is­sue an­other heart­felt apol­ogy, this time in writ­ing, and fol­low up with your par­ents by telling them how dev­as­tated he is, and that he has sworn he will never make a sim­i­lar as­sump­tion again.

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