Annie's Mailbox: Husband suspicious of wife’s new social interests

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Dear Annie: My wife and I have been together for 13 years, married for four.

We have a wonderful 11-year-old son. We got together while we were in high school.

Neither of us ever had many close friends or much of a social life. But all of a sudden, my wife has become a social butterfly.

I hardly see her without her best friend, “Suzy.” In the past three weeks, I’ve had exactly one meal with my family without Suzy present.

Now my wife wants to stay overnight at Suzy’s house. I’ve told her that I don’t mind having Suzy around occasionally, but not all the time, and I don’t agree with this staying overnight business.

I trust my wife, but she should sleep at home. Every time I mention my feelings, she gets angry and says I’m jealous and don’t want her to have any friends, or she closes up tight and won’t speak to me for days.

I love my wife, but I married her, not Suzy. I want her to have friends and have fun.

But, am I wrong to expect her home at a reasonable hour, and to let me know where she’s going?

— Home Alone

Dear Alone: Married women do not make a habit of sleeping over at a girlfriend’s house unless there are problems in the marriage — and it sounds as if there may be.

Couples that get together in high school can sometimes feel they’ve missed out, and Suzy appears to provide excitement. Your wife owes you complete honesty. Insist on it.

Dear Annie: This past weekend, I attended my 25th class reunion. I wore a gorgeous necklace that I ordered online.

I was unaware that two of the prongs that were holding a stone in place were sticking up.

As one of my classmates was leaving, I went to hug her goodbye and the necklace snagged her knit top. I was so embarrassed as I tried to untangle myself.

I expressed my sincere apologies, and she left.

It makes me sick thinking I may have ruined her top, although I don’t know if she cared or if she managed to fix it.

I am also upset with the company that sold the necklace. For what I paid, I assumed it would have been of better quality.

How should I have handled this at the time, and what can I do now?

— Want To Do the Right Thing

Dear Want: The answer is essentially the same.

Call this woman and say, “I’m so sorry I ruined your top. Please let me have it repaired or replaced.”

She will then tell you what it costs, or she will tell you not to bother, but you are obligated to make the offer.

Perhaps the company that sold you the defective necklace will help defray the cost or offer a refund.

Dear Annie: Here’s another take on the casket controversy.

More than 30 years ago, my husband and I decided to be cremated after we attended a viewing.

My husband said, “I don’t want people standing around commenting on how I look after I’m gone. I don’t want anyone to see me.”

My mother-in-law was vehemently opposed to cremation. When my husband died, she demanded to see him, and I gave in. At the funeral home, her first words were, “He looks awful!”

It has been 21 years, and I still feel as if I went against my husband’s wishes.

The memorial service was beautiful, but my mother-in-law’s words stand out, and the hurt remains even though she has been dead for a long time.

— Cremation in My Future

Dear Future: We think you did the right thing. This was not a public viewing where everyone could see your husband. This was his mother.

Preventing her from seeing her son’s body would have created all kinds of misery. It’s time to forgive yourself.

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