Dear Annie: My husband used to check out other women in an obvious way, but no more.
What happened was this: We were in our early 40s, both on our second marriages, and we met for a date one night after work. We sat at the bar due to the crowd on a Friday, and two women across the bar were flirting with him. Just smiles and eye games, but he was soaking up the attention, essentially ignoring me.
I quietly got up, took my purse, walked out and drove home. It took him a minute to realize that I was gone, and those women were cracking up!
He came home just a few minutes behind me, all embarrassed because I had ditched him. I let him know that I didn’t care if he appreciated pretty women but gawking in my presence was flat-out disrespectful. It never happened again. — Expecting Respect
Dear Expecting Respect: Thank you for sharing your very creative way to get your husband to stop gawking at other women. Most times, people treat us the way we expect to be treated. Good for you.
Dear Annie: My son and his family have shut me out of their lives. It has gotten to the point where, when I see them in public, they turn away. There was never any big blowout; they just stopped coming around or talking to me.
I have apologized to them for whatever I did. I tried calling them on the phone. I’ve written letters and sent them through the mail, and I messaged them on Facebook. I also emailed them, and no response. This has been going on for five years. I have cried endless nights about this. My question is, where do I go from here? It has been the grief that “keeps on giving.” — Dazed and Confused
Dear Dazed and Confused: Five years is too long for you to stay stuck in the dark about why your son and his family have shut you out. Their decision to ignore you is really painful, and it is understandable that you have cried about it. Not knowing why is probably part of the reason you are stuck in your grief — because at some level, you understandably hold out hope that he and his family will come around and let you into their lives. Keep trying to reach out respectfully. If he continues to shut you out, know that you have exhausted all steps to try to get close to him.
At some point, you have to just accept the situation as it is and try to move toward making yourself and your life happy. Pick up a new hobby; make new friends; or adopt a pet at your local shelter.
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