Wan­der­ing eye wor­ry­ing wife

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - An­nie Lane

DEAR AN­NIE >> I would love to hear your com­ments on my sit­u­a­tion. My hus­band, “Craig,” is an at­ten­tive, con­sid­er­ate and truly lov­ing part­ner. The one qual­ity that causes me to lose sleep is this: He is in his late 70s, yet he en­joys the at­ten­tion of young women, rang­ing in age from their 20s to their 60s. When he and I spend time alone, we get along very well. How­ever, al­most ev­ery time we are in pub­lic, if he sees an at­trac­tive woman, his eyes rest on her with ob­vi­ous in­ter­est. Then he may look for an ex­cuse to pass near her or some­how en­gage her in light­hearted con­ver­sa­tion.

Re­cently, we were on a train. On his way back from the wash­room, when the train swayed a bit, he ac­ci­den­tally (or on pur­pose) lost his bal­ance and heav­ily leaned on the ta­ble of the four­some across the aisle — high school or early col­lege-aged ladies, and apol­o­gized.

Did he want their at­ten­tion?

Last evening, we went to a lovely res­tau­rant for din­ner. Craig com­mented on the long red hair of a young woman whose back he was fac­ing. Craig and I con­tin­ued to en­joy our din­ner to­gether. Then Craig ex­cused him­self to go to the wash­room. On his way back, he went out of his way to go to­ward the ta­ble of the red­headed young lady, pre­tend­ing to check out her meal se­lec­tion, un­til he caught my eye. He then re­turned to our ta­ble.

It is sim­i­lar with my friends. They love his at­ten­tion. He is charming and smart, qual­i­ties I love about him, too. He is flat­tered that they re­spond to his at­ten­tion, and they in turn show that they are flat­tered by his at­ten­tion to them. They’re so happy to “bond” with him.

Per­haps I am di­gress­ing, but I feel this next in­ci­dent is linked. Last year, Craig was out of town on busi­ness. As he was plan­ning his trip, he had men­tioned to me, that, un­for­tu­nately, he had two days in be­tween as­sign­ments that were un­sched­uled. He was wor­ried he’d be bored. The next thing I knew, he had let a young col­league from a nearby town know that he had a cou­ple of free days, and she joined him, and they spent those two days touring to­gether.

I can un­der­stand Craig be­ing friendly with my friends, but I feel he en­cour­ages a friend­ship be­yond what I am com­fort­able with. As I have men­tioned the in­ap­pro­pri­ate­ness of his star­ing at women when I am with him, he has def­i­nitely tried to curb it. But with the train in­ci­dent (I said noth­ing be­cause I was sure he would in­sist he lost his bal­ance), the res­tau­rant in­ci­dent, which was rather ob­vi­ous (he later ad­mit­ted be­ing cu­ri­ous about how she looked), and the two days shared with his vi­va­cious col­league, I feel a bit hu­mil­i­ated.

As a re­sult, I avoid mak­ing plans with friends as cou­ples, and do so on my own. I very much look for­ward to your com­ments. Thank you kindly.

— Ag­gra­vated

DEAR AG­GRA­VATED >> Jeal­ousy might be a greeneyed mon­ster, but you are en­ti­tled to feel it right now. It’s one thing to ad­mire an at­trac­tive woman, or man, for that mat­ter, but it is quite an­other for your hus­band to un­dress them with his eyes. Fur­ther­more, and per­haps the most con­cern­ing part of your let­ter, is that he in­vited an­other woman on a trip with him. That woman should be you, and you need to make that very clear to him. I’m not sure if it’s his own in­se­cu­rity or if he is be­ing a scoundrel, but re­gard­less of the cause, you de­serve bet­ter.

He needs to shape up and stop ogling other women or he is go­ing to be shipped out to an­other house; yes, even in his late 70s. Don’t rule out talk­ing this over as a cou­ple with a pro­fes­sional coun­selor.

“Ask Me Any­thing: A Year of Ad­vice From Dear An­nie” is out now! An­nie Lane’s de­but book — fea­tur­ing fa­vorite col­umns on love, friend­ship, fam­ily and etiquette — is avail­able as a pa­per­back and e-book. Visit http://www.cre­ator­spub­lish­ing.com for more in­for­ma­tion. Send your ques­tions for An­nie Lane to dear­an­[email protected] creators.com.

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